Last week, Ofcom decided not to investigate a routine performed by the dance group Diversity on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this month. So far so good. The performance, which referred to the death of George Floyd and the wave of protests that followed, drew a record-breaking deluge of 24,500 complaints: that the dance routine was ‘racist towards white people’, portrayed the police negatively and supported a political organisation. ‘In our view,’ Ofcom responded, ‘the clear overarching narrative of the performance was to reflect the events of 2020 and to call for social cohesion and unity.’
Working with porcelain, the artist Rachel Kneebone makes whiteness reverberate to the depths. Shining, delicate and visceral, transcendent and perturbing, her work looks back to origins and forward to ends.
Lloyd Newson and DV8’s latest work ‘deals with freedom of speech, censorship and Islam’. The ‘documentary-style dance-theatre production’ using ‘real-life interviews and archive footage’, currently on at the National Theatre, is called Can We Talk about This? But a more appropriate title would have been ‘the trouble with Islam’. The work pretends to be a dialogue, but is utterly one-sided, presenting only the opinions of people who see something inherently wrong with Islam, or of Islamists with views guaranteed to offend a liberal audience.