Experience: Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange at Birmingham Hippodrome

by Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour

Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange

I’m sat in a massive, opaque, plastic bubble, that from the outside looks like a giant pillow, to keep it inflated there’s a machine pumping air into it. It’s about 20 foot high, 30 foot wide and about 50 foot long, even though there’s a big machine inflating it, there’s no real air movement inside. Sadly for everyone present, I’ve had to take my shoes off so I don’t damage the bubble.

We entered via a unzipped corner and sat on the floor, hanging from the “ceiling” are wires with ten or more mesh frame body shaped pieces, there are three dancers/performance artists in the space from Neon Dance along with Libby from DanceXchange who brought me to see this afternoon rehearsal.

Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange photo by Dave Massey
Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange photo by Dave Massey

This is Puzzle Creature a sixty minute show from the Autumn season of DanceXchange at Patrick Studio in Birmingham Hippodrome.

The dancers move around the space engaging with the bubble as well as removing different sections of body shaped pieces and moulding them to their own bodies. One looks like a glove and facemask combined into one piece, is the person contemplating or are they on the phone…

Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange photo by Dave Massey
Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange photo by Dave Massey

Music and speech begin to play and I actually feel relaxed and dreamy as the lights fade up and down. The first half lasts for around thirty minutes and I feel really connected the space.

We then leave the space and the bubble deflates and a second bubble is placed on top of it, the dancers seem even more connected to this space but as I’m now a spectator watching from the sidelines I feel like I’m disconnected. This throws up lots of thoughts about the themes of birth, creating, observing and contemplating.

Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange photo by Dave Massey
Puzzle Creature with DanceXchange photo by Dave Massey

Puzzle Creature is at DanceXchange on Thursday 18th October check out neondance.org for details of future performances.

The Autumn season of DanceXchange’s programme continues until 1st December. Find out more here: dancexchange.org.uk/event-type/performances


This isn’t a sponsored post. #BrumHour was invited to see Puzzle Creature by DanceXchange.

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