Bristol-based and Dartington Associate Company, Impermanence Dance Theatre brought their Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit show to London – a spellbinding and titillating response to Max Ernst’s unnerving collage-novel A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil.
The novel, created as a collage from medical and anthropological textbooks, sees a girl drift into ever-more vivid dreams as she remembers the abuse she suffered at the hands of her priests as a child the night before she takes holy orders herself.
The company devised a surreal and visceral dreamscape with a Weimar cabaret feel, combining great technical skill with a tongue-in-cheek humour, in a violent spectacle of patriarchy, oppression, sexuality, tragedy and glamour.
The company operates with a flat hierarchy, with each of the performers playing an equal part in choreographing the show. The piece was devised in 43 x 1 minute sections, with each member of the 7-strong company making 6 sections each with a lead choreographer each day. They then seamlessly stitched the fragments together, in a process echoing the creation of the original novel.
Impermanence Dance Theatre, who formed while training at the Rambert School, operate as a collective. Impermancence worked intensively with The Cholmondelays and The Featherstonehaugh’s Lea Anderson during which they took an instant shine to the dark and surreal source material. As well as performing in traditional venues, they have performed at music festivals including Latitude and Glastonbury, in bars, club night Duckie’s senior citizen social The Posh Club, Duckie itself and libraries.