RAW (3 stars)

This article is from 2009


Aerial spectacular that never quite takes off

Sometimes, aerial dance doesn’t need a narrative. Some pieces, like 2007’s Fuerzabruta, present unconnected images, building a sense of wonder in the audience that grabbing for narrative meaning would puncture.

Although it’s on a smaller scale, there are plenty of gorgeously put-together set pieces in Irish company Fidget Feet’s aerial homage to clubland. From the red ropes, bouncers as ushers and the sli-i-ightly dated techno soundtrack, we’re in the Superstar DJ-era, pill-happy 1990s. The swooping aerial pieces on wires imbue every tiny, grubby aspect of a night out – coming up on drugs, a catfight – with the grandeur it presumably has in the protagonists’ heads.

From here, though, things fragment. There still seems to be some narrative, but it’s incoherent at best, the momentum punctured by irritating comedy moments where the DJ character watches television. The moments that work best – an exhausted young couple clambering over ropes to find each other in an astonishingly beautiful athletic duet; a dream-like sequence with a hanging ballgown – are fleeting within an incoherent whole, and too much of the smaller-scale floor choreography feels like filler.

Go for the spectacle, but don’t bother reading anything deeper into it.

Dance Base @ Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 225 5525, until 27 Aug (not 24), 9pm (and 2pm 22 & 23 Aug), £12 (£10).


  • 3 stars

Breathtaking, gravity defying aerial and risqué pole-dancing, circus-dance spectacular. In RAW's hot, sexy clubland, the DJ slips into a shamanic counterpart infecting the hedonistic clubbers. Are we in a fun-loving club or a social prison? www.dancebase.co.uk