Film culture, filmed Melanesian women from another generation displaying their traditional tattoos, a strange dance by Pah Homestead people in and among their magnificent trees and an entirely filmed dance of a goddess emerging from the sea give the Prime programme of 2014 a distinct flavour. Only one of its five works, The Fallen Mystery, by Zahra Killeen-Chance, comes completely live - and that draws on film noir conventions from the 1940s-50s with great wit and style.
While dance film has intellectual complexity, visual sophistications and cinematic magic on its side, there is still something primal in the moving and present body, unfettered by digital distraction and not once removed by shutter and lens.
This programme, whether by accident, design or established trend, seemed over-filmed somehow, though Lyne Pringle's Lung Tree was still a very direct and personal communication on the spiritual succour of trees and environmental issues and Julie Mage'au Gray's Reveal could not have been a more personal and heartfelt cry for the loss of cultural heritage and its accompanying loss of a people's power.
Upstairs in The Loft, Anna Bate, one half of the Q&Q with A&A team, proved the perfect counterfoil. Her For Crying Out Loud is an exquisite and pure exploration of breath, syllables, emotional expression, music and meaning in the moving body.
A small figure in flirty skirt and interesting sneakers, she shimmies and shakes, pauses, twists, smiles and stares, in a seemingly endless parade of the human state. Repetition of simple sounds like "ha" and "kk", "woo", "waa" and "mmm" evoke a small child's jargoning and a baby has surely added to Bate's extensive intellectual research.
The result is enchanting and philosophically entrancing.
Alexa Wilson's Star/Oracle begins with a satirical portrait of the Tarot's Star card as contemporary deviant, seductive, strange and rude. Wilson is deeply concerned with questioning: of self, culture, politics and environment and the second half of her performance evolves from questions elicited from the audience.
The answers involve a pig mask, spray cans of paint, a crinoline and several pairs of knickers worn collectively or not at all.
Confronting and very avant-garde!
What: Prime and Q&Q with A&ATempo Dance Festival
Where: Q Theatre