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Local blogger Sandy East shares her experience of ‘HOST’ by the Kate Lawrence Vertical Dance company at Grafton Car Park in Worthing last August.

Isn’t life under the sun just a dream?” Daniel asks in Wim Wenders’ film Wings of Desire and on Saturday 12th August 2017 beneath glorious sunshine VDKL and Worthing Theatres provided the town with Host (inspired by the aforementioned film) a 15 minute experience that offered both Bruno Ganz’s troubled angel and a sea of spectators with an answer: life can be the most beautiful kind of dream when risks are taken and boundaries are crossed.

Set against the canvas of the newly graffitied brutalist Grafton Car Park to the Wings of Desire soundtrack, Kate Lawrence’s Circomedia students provided a stunning showcase of vertical dance, a genre that is steadily gaining more attention and praise. Using ropes, suspension, pluck, courage and grace, Lawrence’s dancers scaled the height and breath of the multi-storey to deliver a performance that was physically demanding in scope yet nuanced and intimate in its storytelling, which given the magnitude of their stage was no mean feat.

Dressed simply in brown jackets and trainers (a modern nod of appreciation to Damiel and friends) the five dancers embraced the vast expanse of pop-art coloured concrete and ‘open’ windows at their backs to frame a performance that seemed to celebrate the marrying up of stark contrasts: the fluidity and lightness of the dancers alongside the solidity and heaviness of setting; Knieper’s emotive score versus the bustle of a seaside town; and stunning choreography that merged from contemplative stillness to positively majestic. Lawrence’s combination of cleverly and delicately mirrored stills from the film juxtaposed with ambitious rope work that involved the Circomedia students soaring both horizontally and vertically across the building was brave, challenging and fantastic.

VDKL and Worthing Theatres delivered a unique, accessible-for-all performance as a taster for the Summer of Circus and in doing so also winged forward the message that Right Now in Worthing the possibilities for what, how and where art is made are greater than ever, and that life under the sun, when taking a few creative risks, can be quite the dream.