The work is filled with other-worldly images delivered in bewildering succession. Stripy dancers with their feet encased in giant fish-tail flippers lollop about the stage while Dominique Willoughby's flickering projections play on their eerily phosphorescent costumes. A figure enters, his hands replaced by snaking tentacles four-feet long, which flick around his body like huge fly whisks. Enter two men in suits carrying a bald man in a vast inflatable white bag, which he attacks like a clueless bachelor in a fight with a duvet cover. Three dancers surround their bodies with long concertina- like hoses forming a sort of human Pompidou Centre.
Some of these visual effects are reminiscent of other prop-crazed illusionists like Moses Pendleton's Momix or Victoria Chaplin's Circle Invisible. Happily, Decodex is free of Pendleton's cutesy vulgarity and Chaplin's flaccid feyness. Decoufle's more robust wit is a big help - as are the dancers themselves. Available in all shapes and sizes, they peep over their spectacles from time to time to deliver fleeting phrases of pure dance performed with great style. The audience, which featured a lot of young children and teenagers, was amused and appreciative.
I liked it, too, but I was very grateful to find it a good half-hour short of the advertised 90 minutes. A lot of it was beautiful. It's sensationally dressed, Eric Wurtz's lighting is inspired, the music and the moods are varied but flicking through a crazy catalogue of images can become somewhat enervating if it hasn't been indexed by a guiding intelligence and fortified with just a pinch of meaning. Maybe it's just a language barrier: perhaps Decoufle is merely proving that you can speak French without saying a word.
Today 2.30 & 8pm (01483 761144)
Louise LeveneReuse content