Libby an ACE Youth group dancer and current member of Birmingham Centre for Advanced Dance Training reviews Neon Dance / PuzzleCreature after attending our 17th October performance at the Patrick Centre in Birmingham…
PuzzleCreature was a fascinating fusion of arts pulled together to create an inspiring trio accessible to an extensive amount of people. The concept of the piece came from architectural designs by Arakawa and Madeline Gins; these often looked into science and experimenting, but most famously their expedition which explored the theme death. Within the piece the use of British and Japanese sign language alongside spoken description was a great asset as it made it an expression of inclusion which in itself is something to be celebrated.
From the moment we arrived outside the theatre we knew this was not a normal performance. As we entered the inflatable dome and were able to explore the ‘stage’ and sit anywhere you pleased; we could get up close to the artefacts hanging from the ceiling, much like molds of different body parts which later were incorporated into the choreography. The incredible set design set the imagination free before the dancers even entered the immersive space.
The dancers climbed into the set with absolute composure where they shared the stage with their audience members. The articulate movements alongside the dancers impressive technical abilities allowed for mesmerising choreography including complex contact work, with their bodies intertwining organically yet fluidly. The artefacts were wearable and came into play as they seemed to manipulate the dancers and influence how they moved individually and in partner work which I found thoroughly intriguing.
We then stepped out of the dome and joined the dancers on top. Slightly deflated, they used the remaining air in the set beneath them to manipulate and send ‘wave-like’ impulses across the space; it cleverly acted as an catalyst for more movement, which I thought looked physically extremely effective especially as the audience were invited upon the dome so you really felt a part of the performance.
I really enjoyed the experience as not only have I never been involved in anything like this, the movement style and inventive set designs really grabbed my attention and made me really invest in the whole production. I’m fortunate enough to be working with the choreographer Adrienne Hart in April 2019 as part of the Birmingham CAT programme so I am intrigued and excited to learn more about the work and embrace some of these concepts for myself as a dancer.
Catch our final tour date at Swindon Dance on the 16th November!