Quatre Mains


Performed by Andrew Dawson and Sven Till
Co- commissioned by UCLA live with Fabrik, Potsdam 2008

Originally created with Jos Houben in 1998

London Premiere at ICA as part of the London International Mime Festival 1998

Image by Nitin Vadukul

“Performance stripped down to ultimate simplicity, and continuing to generate strong, direct emotions and laughter in a breathtaking intimacy.”
The Financial Times

Quatre Mains, is an intimate dance for four hands.From abstract geometric figures to moving personal encounters across a cafe table, Quatre Mains is an evocative visual poem of finely tuned movement and gesture. Without vocal language, but with a rich and diverse soundtrack ranging from Britten to The Jazz Passengers, Quatre Mains explores not only what hands are but also what hands can evoke.

LA Times review, December 2008


“Dawson’s remarkable ability to produce expression through nothing more than hand gestures and lighting, accompanied by odd selections of recorded music. From the loudspeakers came moments of Hungarian avant-garde, noirish bits of film music by Bernard Herrmann, goofy mood music of Roger Roger, some Jazz Passengers jazz and a little Astor Piazzolla. But “Quatre Mains” ends in magic, the “Moonlight” interlude from Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes.” Through it all, two men with beautiful hands found a thousand surprising ways of connecting. Their fingers were little men walking the lonely streets on a dark night. They were sea anemones in an underwater ballet. Digits became a geometer’s lines. Hands in choreographed motion were dancers, acrobats, aircraft. Once or twice, Dawson and Till pulled up their sleeves and allowed forearm action. But that’s as far as it went for their bodies They remained close lipped, expressionless, throughout.” LA Times.