To the Kaai Theatre this evening to see Michèle Anne de Mey’s Neige (2009), a piece for five dancers, performed to occasional extracts from the allegreto of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. You can see a video extract here. Mmmm… The Westlake jury is still out on this one. The mise-en-scène is the first star of the show. Snowflakes fall endlessly on stage, covering the dancers’ tracks and the dancers themselves. An almost invisible screen contains the flakes but nevertheless creates a barrier between the performers and the audience. The dancers are typically brilliant. The tale they tell is one of the power and inter-relationship of sentiments from love through to jealousy, from friendliness through to hate – ultimately, they dance from life to death (and back again). Was it our imagination or did the mise-en-scène end up getting in the way of the creation? After all, it’s not the sort of set you can just take down and stow in the wings, so once it’s up you’ve got to stick with it. So stick with it we, and the dancers, did. And that’s why the Westlake jury is out. To be fair, there were no snowball fights (though one fistful of snow was thrown) and no snowmen, but the impression grew upon us that this was somehow a production to be seen in still images, and that the dancing in between was precisely that, and that would be monstrously unfair on the dancers and on the choreography. Put another way, I think I would be happy to see Neige again, only without the neige.