Developed by the Barbican Centre and mentored by Lea Anderson and Lindsey Kemp, Crystal Me is billed as a cross-arts happening at the warehouse space of Hackney Showroom. Livia Rita and Company present an eccentric 4D experience around the theme of truth within art, exploring why as artists, we deign to create something sometimes so disconnected from the world.

As we enter into the space to collect our tickets, a scurry of 10 or more company members are milling around sticking stickers to us and stamping our hands, it is very clear from the offset that we are playing. They begin talking about an artist who then emerges and invites us into his room to create with him. He takes four members from the public and the rest of us are invited to witness the art. It becomes clear that these people are not members of the public, they become The Strong Man, The Coral Girl, The Mortal Girl and The Windy Man. The artist faintly resembles God and a vague narrative between The Coral Girl and Windy Man evolves. The Mortal Girl is strong as a cynical character, clearly there to remind us that we are always playing and always doubting art. She reads headlines from the newspaper and reminds us that no one is interested in a love story. During the second half we move into an altogether different affair, with original songs being sung around us by Livia Rita whilst the company dance or act or paint each other, all the while dressed in crazy couture. We are now sat on the stage in the middle of the warehouse, whilst everything moves around us.

The piece is out there as something new. It is not something which I would or could call theatre or contemporary dance or a concert. It adds a new realm to art, something which is moving and speaking, but is also supposed to be appreciated as a fine art.

The costumes are crude and harsh, cobbled together as if a five year old had an infinite budget. There is colour and shimmer and glitter and netting and extravagance, and it is all just because they can. The costumes are original and fit in with the theme, always reminding us that we are playing. The music and movement are inspiring, the company are clearly accomplished dancers who move with intensity and emotion. As we shift from ethereal to electro, we see their aggression and pain shift with their movements.

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the piece’s edginess, but a well spoken and directed narrative could have portrayed this theme better. That’s just my opinion because I love theatre and I love how it is used as a pure art form. But I also think that perhaps sometimes we make things for the wrong reasons. A lot of artists like to believe we are blessed with a point-of-view which is truly individual. I don’t believe people are uniquely individual, but I do think the way that we tell our stories is individual and that’s what people are interested in. A lot of people can see similar themes in our day to day lives, however it is how we use our skills to shape that theme into a well put-together piece of art that makes us artists. Livia Rita has crafted something which she is passionate about and it is truly hers. No one can question that or take it away from her. However, I do honestly believe the piece is trying to accomplish something more than itself, which of course I still appreciate as an artist.

Crystal Me is playing Hackney Showroom until 1 of July. For more information and tickets, see Hackney Showroom website.