Ethan Switch - Friday, 21 October 2005
Under a blanket of black darker than the soul of man, Nerve 9 opens with a scurrying of whispers and snitching sounds from deep in the stage floor area.
Tess de Quincey levitates above the floor in a remarkably impressive set of moves. 80s robotica cavorting with a live-action marionette system having undergone alien genome experimentation. Fantastic in all its otherworldliness and not to mention rather unsettling in parts.
Against a back drop of largely of text and to a soundtrack of poetry by Francesca da Rimini and Amanda Stewart, it's a strange set of features to witness. Lines and lines of random words blast from the back and shower in a shimmering screen of stanzas.
Video clips of mere lips in foreign tongues breathe out a nauseating sickness that nearly invokes the stomach and throat muscles to expunge all that is Korean via the Japanese style. Repetitive cut scene of a man's hand washing activities are plausibly nightmarish and horrific in their attention to the mundane.
Fear of the unknown is prominent. Fear of not knowing what exactly is happening out there on the floor as the performance takes the likes of convulsive fits against a soundtrack of poetry. Satisfaction in the production sits outside sucking down cigarette butts from ashtrays.
60 minutes through and 10 minutes from the final contort, a lone man walks out of the Performance Space. Rounds of applause are hearty, full of body and void of aspersions. Explanations are better left for those looking to understand everything they experience.
Nerve 9 is quite possibly a show that will leave a scratch crater in the scalp of coherence.