Few art forms engage an audience as wholly as DV8 last night. Never shy of making bold statements and exploring complex and difficult ideas, DV8 started by asking the audience if we felt morally superior to the Taliban. Personally I doubt feeling morally superior to anyone, but the following 90 minutes of dance/physical theatre/polemic certainly had me gripped. In a sequence of tableaux they portrayed a sequence of incidents involving extreme Islamic ideals, violence and oppression, they managed to tread that very fine line between exposure and preaching. The extraordinary physical movements, weird at times, poetic at others, rather than distracting from the dense political text, helped to focus on the words, all drawn from real interviews with those involved in the struggle. And difficult as the subject matter is there was only one voice of protest from the audience, a voice that some thought was part of the performance. DV8 are celebrating 25 years and doing it with an explosive work that is shocking, thought-provoking and oddly elegant too. This is the stuff that makes Brighton Festival great.
Corn Exchange, Brighton Dome, 24 May 2012