by Jason Booker
A piece without a spoken word that uses synthetic Muzak, In/Side the Box baffles and bores. Watching Sinéad Cormack create a box out of three pieces of rope and four vertical lighting poles is intriguing, for all of three minutes. Unfortunately it takes her closer to thirty minutes to construct the full set-piece, which she then underutilizes: posing with her awkward smile, fumbling to get underneath the crossed ropes and repeating the same dance-steps endlessly. Occupying the other half of the stage is a white sheet unto which a video of Sinéad constructing and deconstructing a rope box is projected. Employing some editing to have her video-double speed up or loop, there is nothing compelling about the digital copy, even when four simulated dancers stand side-by-side mirroring the live choreography. In the ultimate self-indulgent act, Sinéad takes an intermission between the building half and untying collapse of her rope fortress. She sits at the front of the stage, having fetched an orange from behind her screen, peeling and eating the entire fruit while the projection changes to a list of ideas and words and lists of things that are conventional or require conforming, like a definition of beauty, mathematical equations or a list of theatre genres and periods. However, as the only moment of cleverness in the show, the ideas flash on the screen too quickly to be fully read, they simply get acknowledged as concepts inside the box, while our performer remains outside hers. Tragically, though the show could have been compelling, Cormack never engages her audience, appearing nervous and self-aware gazing toward the screen for her cues, when simply cracking a joke or focusing the show on a particular message or movement might have helped.