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Rock Street, San Francisco
Rock Street, San Francisco

In the Matthew Bourne dance drama “The Car Man,” the set takes place in the small town called Harmony around the 1960s. In Harmony the characters known as Dino the owner of Dino’s diner and garage, his wife Lana, her sister Rita, Angelo, and Luca the drifter perform a dance sensation evolving around a small town filled with passion, violence and betrayal. The characters Luca and Lana stood out as the chemistry and steamy love affair between them intensifies during an intimate and energetic duet portraying a loose and flirtatious woman (Lana) who desperately seeks the attention of the Luca.

The duet begins with Lana kneading dough on the table at the diner as she teases and flirts with the other workman from Dino’s Garage. Lana dance flirtatiously around the diner to gain Luca attention the mutual seduction begins. She moves her arms like a butterfly flapping its wings when it fly’s around and round as she tries to gain the attention of Luca. Lana looks at Luca but he just seems to ignore her, so Lana dances with the workman who firmly lifts her up in the air to show her importance.

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Luca then seductively walks up behind her putting his arms around her waist as she try to resists him, but sooner than later she gives in to temptation. His embrace become more forceful shaped by the rough caress of wind and water as he grabs her by the waist lifting her body in the air. Lana begins to seize the moment staring in a daze, Luca leaps onto the table pulling her onto the table as well.

The Embrace of each other touch and body language as they’re making passionate love looks like a wild beast tangled in a net as dance on the table then down to the floor. During this transformation between Lana’s and Luca’s body lusting all over each other the lighting turns red which could resemble the love affair between the two. Dancing from start to finish the hidden language of their hearts, Lana’s and Luca’s body rhythm flow in beautiful sequence as their arms and legs sway around each other’s body, like a flower dancing in the wind.

In this particular dance scene between Luca and Lana the lifts, jumps and floor work are big, bold and controlled in movement showing the sexual relationship and closeness growing between the two at this point. Starting out unsure of each other the tables quickly turn as they become intimate and very passionate lovers pushing the wind in all level. Their movements entwine together becoming smaller in space and faster in time, like a speeding bullet showing the desires flaring between them. Luca and Lana energetic and intimate performance surprisingly caught my attention.

The dance drama told a story of passion and betrayal as their body language and facial expressions with use of a smirk on someone face or a look created a clear image making each scene more and more interesting to watch. The set Matthew Bourne used in dance drama was effective and clever it works and tells a clear story of what’s going on between characters. The table seems to be quite an important prop in this scene as it helps to tell the story showing how Lana works at the diner kneading dough on the table wearing apron.

The table is also being used in other levels on stage as the lifts and body contact between Luca and Lana are done over and on top the table. The music and lighting are extremely important during this scene. The duet shows the change in focus of lighting and the elevating highs and lows in the sound of music in the atmosphere evolving around Luca and Lana exaggerated movements on and off center stage leading up to their passionate love affair.

The costumes also worked with in the duet. Lana’s wearing a loose and flirty dress that works in this scene allowing Luca to pull her dress up at times to perform the lifts and turns. “The Car Man,” was definitely worth seeing, the duet captured the connection between the two creating an erotic and dramatic dance thriller full of suspense. To be honest, I’d never heard of “The Car Man” before, but I’m glad I had the chance to experience one of Matthew Bourne’s most popular works.

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