REVIEW: Dance: Casting Traces

August 30, 2014


Casting Traces

New Movement Collective

Old Fruit Market, Circus Street, Brighton

Architecture, performance and film collide in the latest production by radical dance group New Movement Collective; Circus street old fruit market is the venue for the promenade piece of dance, you arrive, swap your fashionista rags for a stark white cloak then roam as the action unfolds around you.  It’s such a pity this old space, which lends itself to so many cool ideas like this, is going under the developer’s bulldozers.

Inspired by Paul Auster’s seminal novel ‘The New York Trilogy’, New Movement Collective (NMC) present Casting Traces. This cross-genre 45-minute performance invites the audience into a unique dance experience set within an architectural paper labyrinth. The set is the old crumbling market itself with the audience as a prop and our perceptions as a backdrop. There are endless sheets of wafting paper with back lights and projections and all sorts of bells and whistles, although the tech is seamless and very well done and doesn’t get in the way of the dance.  (Check out the rather sweet row of gents running the tech and light show who try very hard not to look like they are judges in some strange crepuscular-lit magisterial bench)


This was good so stop reading this review and BOOK now!

** Tickets must be purchased in advance at


The labyrinth, designed by Elin Eyborg (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, School of Architecture), is a giant paper maze that transforms the space and its surroundings, making the visitor a participant in the performance. It felt like being on board some huge sailing ship as the whole thing was billowing and creaking and moving in the wind and changes in air pressure. This translucent assemblage forms a temporary world of illusion where light and shadow interplay and enhance the choreographed movement, encouraging the audience to reassess their perception of dance and architecture. This is a promenade performance but in the true sense; I would strongly recommend that you leave the tight huddle of front-row huggers and wander around this voluminous and ever changing set, gently pushing at the huge softly waving hanging spaces to let you though. The dancers appear and disappear all around the space so it’s well worth gently, slowly moving around and allowing the experience to unfold itself around you.  As in the novels, this dance and the movements contain multitudes; there are hints and imaginations, strange repetitions and suggestions of violence, madness and despair, quoting and re-quoting itself, all through the dance but it holds itself solidly in a cohesive whole which is testament to the skill of these energetic dancers. I was impressed, I saw a woman sitting on the floor weeping but I’m not sure she was part of the performance; it was that sort of night…

Violinist Linda Jankowska was majestic and statuesque, providing the clean and simple music for the dancers guiding us through the piece but  only emotionally and again though her own interpretation. Her superb playing gave me one of my highlights of the show. I watched an urban fox nip around the back of the twisting dancers in the shadows as she played a series of melancholy chords. It stopped to look at us for a moment. Lovely.

I left the show feeling oddly calmed, it was a subtly disturbing piece, full of reflection and meta-reflection, us watching, watching ourselves watching while being watched. In the end it spiralled into softness, a mirror in a mirror, and I allowed the dancers the music and the ever-moving set to just be and get on with it. It was a wise choice. To chase this piece is to miss it, and I think that’s the point of this; there is no defining show here but many of them, intertwining your own perspective, defining then being defined.

There may be eight million stories in the naked city, but in the Gilded Ghetto of Circus Street there is just one worth talking about tonight, and that’s this curious but touching dance piece by this innovative young troupe

Recommended – go get tickets NOW or queue for a return! 

August 29 and 30  

6.45 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.

Circus Street Market, Brighton, BN2 9QF


** Tickets must be purchased in advance at



 Malgorzata Dzierzon

Hannah Kidd

Eryck Brahmania

Jonathan Goddard

 Joe Walkling

Renaud Wiser

Violinist Linda Jankowska