Lose Your Head In The Clouds At The Southbank

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Welcoming the start of the summer holidays in surreal style, Clouds is a swirling, whirling visual treat. Spanish company Aracaladanza use playful dance to bring scenes from Rene Magritte’s paintings to life. The choreography is synchronised, the set simple and the colours bold primaries. Aimed at anyone aged four and over, the performance avoids Magritte’s more risqué work but the artist’s signature black suits and bowler hats, green apples and fluffy white clouds all feature. Solidly positive throughout, Clouds has a sophistication about it, and never feels patronising or twee.

There’s no obvious narrative but each oddball scene feeds smoothly into the next. Highlights include playful shadow work as the dancers experiment between spotlights and a white screen; bulging tutus stuffed with white balloons that transform the women wearing them into clouds; a sequence where all the dancers noisily and joyfully do their thing wearing flippers; and — best of all — a comedic sequence where the dancers are all dressed in elongated suits, with springs for necks and white, featureless heads bobbing around on top. The show ends with a heavy snow shower, which seems a strange thing at this time of year, but also rather refreshing to witness during a heatwave. Clouds doesn’t have a message or a moral, it’s just pure, well-staged fun.

Clouds plays at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank at 11am and 2pm until Wed 30 July. Tickets are £9 for children, £18 for adults. Londonist saw this show with a complimentary review ticket.

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