Carnival Hound performance surprises and captivates

ADAM ROBERTS
Last updated 08:31 26/10/2012
Carnival Hound
HEAD TURNER: Contemporary dance piece Carnival Hound had plenty to captivate.

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REVIEW: From prosthetic hands and playful fights over the furniture, to darker, more aggressive themes, Arts Festival contemporary dance piece Carnival Hound had plenty to captivate.

The 50-minute show, held at the Theatre Royal, was enjoyed by an audience that filled the theatre to about half its capacity, many of those local students.

On my way into the show last night, I did not know what to expect, and a vague description in the night's programme did not give much of a clue as to the event's content.

The performance revolved around a man struggling against visions of war, sex and women.

At times he seemed to be battling madness, at others he shared tender moments with one of the other performers.

The performance ran the gamut from dark, angry scenes, to those of genuine hilarity.

I'm (clearly) not an expert in dance, but I have to say I was surprised by how captivated I was by the movements on-stage.

Performers Maria Dabrowska - who also choreographed the piece - Mariana Rinaldi and Alex Leonhartsberger were captivating in their portrayal of various characters in the show.

A particular highlight was a comedic exchange involving two dancers fighting over possession of several wooden chairs. The segment had an air of improvisation, but had a polish that indicated it had been thoroughly practiced.

The original music, composed by Eden Mulholland and available here, was also a particular highlight, with the variety of pieces suiting the on-stage action perfectly.

At times the industrial beats combined with a crooning falsetto reminded me of Radiohead, which to a man about to see the band was a very good thing.

At other times the action continued in silence, quiet enough to hear the breathing of the performers - and the rumble from the stomach of the person sitting next to me.

Overall I came away impressed by the performance, with a desire to learn more about the show and such contemporary dance in general - which has to be a good thing.

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