West End Prepares to Make Contact

News   West End Prepares to Make Contact Susan Stroman's Contact, a major hit on Broadway, is due to arrive at the Queen's Theatre on Oct. 3, when it will begin previews. The show opens on Oct. 23, and will run until Feb. 22, 2003.

Susan Stroman's Contact, a major hit on Broadway, is due to arrive at the Queen's Theatre on Oct. 3, when it will begin previews. The show opens on Oct. 23, and will run until Feb. 22, 2003.

Contact comprises three short stories that tell of people in the wild pursuit of love, and their struggle to connect.

Told through a dizzying cocktail of dance and dialogue, and set against a soundtrack of classical, jazz, swing and rock, Contact speaks the universal language of desire. Susan Stroman, choreographer of, among others, Crazy For You, Oklahoma! and The Producers, has created a unique theatrical dance evening that has scooped several awards on Broadway, and which is eagerly awaited in London.

Contact is one of the highest-profile examples (Matthew Bourne's new Play Without Words at the National being another) of the increasing blurring of artificial distinctions between dance and theatre. Dance has always told a story, but - as Oklahoma! proved sixty years ago - it can also be an integral part of a musical.

Stroman's Contact takes this a stage further (as does Bourne's work) to show that dance can itself replace as well as complement a text. In conjunction with music, dance can be as expressive, in its way, as words. Expect a lot of dance fans at the Queen's as well as the more traditionally theatrical Shaftesbury Avenue crowd, for what looks set to be one of a number (David Hare's The Breath of Life starring Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, for example) of very high-profile first nights in London this autumn.