3 Min Read

From Desirable to Disturbing: Spectrums of Chocolate Cake

Spectrums of Chocolate Cake sends audiences down a David Lynch-esque rabbit hole, filled with fascinatingly deranged events.

Choreographed and directed by Montserrat Heras, the show is my first experience of dance performed in The Blue Room Theatre. I was curious to see how four dancers would navigate the small studio space and was even more intrigued when I walked into the space, which was set up as a party in an intimidate living room with a cosy ambience. Sitting front and centre was none other than our main character, a beautiful, dark, glistening, rich chocolate cake.

Spectrums of Chocolate Cake. Photography by Mitchell Aldridge

The four dancers, Kimberley Parkin, Rhiana Katz, Elsa Bignell and Montserrat Heras kick off the party with a game of charades, taking us through the typical movements of a birthday party. As the scene progresses, something feels slightly off kilter as each dancer takes time to break away from the party to stare longingly at the cake.

They move delicately around the furniture filled space, making it unclear how exactly they plan to dance without being inhibited by the objects around them. We’re not left wondering for long as Peter McAvan’s sound design moves from perky 60s tunes to record-skipping, altered sounds before the party comes to a screeching halt.

Spectrums of Chocolate Cake. Photography by Mitchell Aldridge

The performers transition the space into a blank slate, except of course for the cake which remains front and centre. There’s a tingle of excitement in the air as they eerily move out of reality and into a surreal environment.

As the performers start to move, their human characteristics are removed with repetitive motions; one performer moves up and down, head in hands resembling Edvard Munch’s The Scream while another moves more robotically. They collectively become zombie-like with one thing on their mind CAKE.

The audience is kept for a long time in a state of anticipation around the cake, never sure if the performers will or won’t touch the cake. When the cake is eventually touched there’s a sense of indescribable shock as if they’ve done something utterly forbidden.

Spectrums of Chocolate Cake. Photography by Mitchell Aldridge

What occurred from that point onwards left me in a state of awe and while also feeling incredibly unsettled… but in a good way. The group continuously ups the ante on what you think they’ll do next. “Are they really going to do that?!”

Spectrums of Chocolate Cake feels like a guilty pleasure, creating enjoyment amid something quite unsettling. I recommend you consider this decadent treat for your next cheat day.

Spectrums of Chocolate Cake runs from May 7 to May 21 at The Blue Room Theatre