The second show of the new season, and another great DanceXchange triumph - a complex set of variations on a simple theme, challenging, exciting, and very witty, with all sorts of resonances, from vaudeville to old masters via the Blair Witch Project.
The show, originally created and directed by Arthur Pita (pronounced Peter) at The Place in London, has five dancers pitching tents in the woods. To the accompaniment of Nigel Kennedy's version of The Four Seasons (made Led Zeppelinish by sheer volume) they commune with nature and, perhaps more potently, one another.
The tents become places of refuge and transformation. One is used as a wedding dress, another as the symbol and weapon of a rampaging Pan figure who holds the campers in thrall. There are rites and rituals, orange spotlights turning the backs of the three male dancers (all below 20 per cent body fat, I'd guess) into Goya nudes doubling as trees scattering leaves which might have been dipped in the palette of Poussin.
And then there are the flip flops (one pair with kitten heels) which double as skateboards and the cool Californiaspeak hippie woman who started out as an MC slipping through the fire exit peering through her tent's window lit from below by a torch and gibbering a la Blair Witch.
She returns resplendent in white light, with spring frock and jaunty parasol to sing Oh What a Beautiful Morning to give us the happy ending (or new beginning?) we never expected when the other woman (harridan doubling as sexpot throughout) was terrorising everyone with her leaf blower.
It may all sound slightly mad, but it made perfect and satisfying sense, blurring the boundaries between high and pop art, with the turn of the seasons anchoring the action and five terrific and committed dancers offering mesmerising performances, by turns funny, furious and fantastical.
With work like this and the internationally-lauded Bare Bones presentations, DanceXchange is putting the city at the very forefront of courageous new dance projects, packed with zest, originality and sheer good fun. They deserve main house sized audiences for work of this quality.