Bizarre, trancelike, surreal – only such a slurry of words can come close to capturing Anima. For just as the essence of dreams is lost through verbal description, here too we have a performance which ventures into the indescribable.

Even the journey there was strange. The audience met outside the Brighton Dome where we were ushered into a private bus by an animated French mademoiselle who was dressed like a circus showman. She spoke with a stereotypically broken accent – which she assured us was part of the act – and kept the whole crowd entertained with her eccentric charm.

We arrived at the venue – a little community hall close to Brighton station – where crazed women ran towards us with lampshades, and an offbeat band played absently from the rooftops. Soon after, we were guided into a darkened room, and the performance began.

Eerie music, jerky movements, languages we could not understand: Anima plunged us into its unintelligible depths. We watched as this bizarre cast of dreamers enacted their fantasies, using lamps to trail around the curtains, create images on the walls, and even to explore their own bodies. Light was certainly the central motif of the performance, and as something both natural and manmade it disclosed a symbolic significance. The drive seemed to be a return to carnality – groaned repeatedly through the microphone – and indeed to the anima, which, as the flyer informs us, is ‘the archetype of life itself’.

The experience was carnivalesque, hypnotic, and derealised: a non-sequential trip through the human psyche. The phrase ‘weird but wonderful’ springs to mind, as Anima was precisely that, so if you have a touch of the freakish about you, it comes highly recommended.”

By Joshua Feldman
The New Current 

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