Power, passion set festival bar high

The sixth Festival of Colour opened with power, passion and raw physicality, setting the bar high for the rest of the week.

It started appropriately with two delightful shots of Coffee Cantata, J. S. Bach's comic opera, performed first in period costume, and later in more risque burlesque style.

The show was fitting festival fare - something a little different for aficionados and ideal for tempting adventurous audiences into trying new art forms.

Who knew the brilliant Bach could be so much fun?

Contemporary circus company Casus followed with a breathtaking hour of edge-of-seat athleticism, somehow squeezing exceptionally skilful acrobatics and daring feats of balance and strength on to a scarily small square stage.

Not a big top, but huge talent.

The evening belonged to legendary choreographer Douglas Wright's new work, The Kiss Inside.

Wright, who showed he has lost none of his stage expression in an unexpected solo, led yet another team of outstanding dancers in a mystical exploration of the human quest for ecstasy.

Well-known for being provocative and controversial, Wright turned perspectives upside down from the explosive opening to the disturbing end.

Dancers explored the magic and mystery surrounding ways we try to achieve an ecstatic understanding of life. Imaginative and physically brutal dance examined spirituality, extreme religious devotion, sex in various forms, mysticism and ritual.

Dancers Craig Bary, Luke Hanna, Sarah-Jayne Howard, Simone Lapka and Tara Jade Samaya gave their all in a stunning display of emotional storytelling.

Some of the audience understood what was going on, most of them loved it, and a few walked out - a sure sign that Wright has another triumph on his hands.

- Nigel Zega 

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