Alain Platel and Les Ballets C de la B

Eve StebbingNorwich Theatre Royal (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)Eve Stebbing

Norwich Theatre Royal (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

Belgian based ballets c de la b is a dance collective formed in 1984 on a bit of a dare. Famously, Platel had been to see a Maurice Bejart ballet and thought it was terrible. 'I could do better than that!' he cried, and so a company was born.

This year's show was not for the faint-hearted: it was an orgy of the grotesque worthy of Hieronymus Bosch himself.

As it opened, the performers stripped before our eyes, and wrapped themselves in blankets. A wild growling was heard in the distance.

The dancers began to sniff each other, to tramp and foot the stage like animals.

Once things became more human, the stage picture became tortuous and frenetic. There were shades of the dark ages as the performers contorted to resemble strange creatures, and a disco scene grew to an ecstatic joy ride for lonely narcissists.

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Much of the evening was silent, but where a sound-scape developed it was created by the dancers themselves, body popping or creating their own electronic landscapes live on stage.

It wasn't nice to watch, but I couldn't take my eyes off them. It's a long time since I saw anything this coherent and extreme and the horror of it will stay with me for some while.

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