Between and Psycho-delia

Diversions - the Dance Company of Wales
Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen
(2004)

Production photograph

This performance represents an enterprising attempt by Carmarthen County Council to launch this theatre into what should be a more dynamic future. For too long the Lyric has been in the doldrums serving up a main diet of films and local amdram performances.

But how do you enthuse the local population to appreciate this change in policy? You offer everyone a free ticket! A good idea and very generous of those running the theatre budget. However, even freebies can't shift what appears to be a deep rooted apathy. It's a long hard road to make theatre a more integral part of the community. I assume such a road still exists and that aim is still possible.

I admit I do love to watch dance. Initially, I found modern dance worrying because there seemed to be no logic at all in what I was seeing. Now I have learned not to worry and the experience is that much satisfying. I relax and marvel at the shapes and elaborate rhythmic patterns that have been fine tuned to the music and how, mixed with clever lighting, how all of this allows me to create my own interpretation of what it all symbolises.

Psycho-delia is a piece inspired by choreographer Sean Tuan John's love of cult sci-fi movies. I felt it had a lot to say about the day to day grind of modern living and how life can turn us into something that is alien from what should be a more natural life.

The movement was relentlessly robotic with body movements so complex we can only marvel as to how you would begin to choreograph such a piece. It required great physical strength and stamina combined with all those attributes of physical and mental control that every dancer needs.

Between, choreographed by Roy Campbell-Moore, was, in contrast, a more gentle piece with movement often touching on balletic traditions. Here there was a beautifully woven shape that seemed to take us through the story of man's development - at least, that is what I saw. I am sure there must have been many interpretations of the piece by members of the audience and that is the nature of modern dance. The stillness of the group at the end, standing in silhouette against a back cloth of what might have been a red dawn, was, to me, a clear representation of man's constant worry ."What comes next?"

The sound and lighting for this production was first class which is a reflection of the excellent funding from various bodies which has been extended to this fine group.

This is a talented group. Try to see them.

Reviewer: Tony Layton