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Thomas Michael Voss

Review: FOLLOW THE FAUN at Above the Arts

Follow The Faun In a society of Babyccinos, Macrobiotic Meals, Naked Restaurants, Tantric Resorts, Yoga retreats, and so on, it seems everyone is trying very hard to discover the next new thing, sometimes going to extreme length to find self-improvement while contemplating the meaning of life. And it's worth the search, as research shows that doing so can positively affect your physical and mental state, short or long term, and influence your general well-being.

This fully immersive theatre event (which rather resembles an aerobic class) at Above the Arts plunges you into exploring this world, as two beaming, soft voiced goddesses lead you into the experience. It’s a ‘Marmite’ situation, you’ll either love it or hate it.

You quickly get a sense of the barminess of it all, and the vibe feels a bit like Dr Who Sci-Fi meets Rocky Horror, as you’re ushered into positions and mentally prepared for a dance class to begin.

A faun (Andy Black) dressed in horns, a catsuit and heels, enters to lead the session, which is slick and well rehearsed, anyone wanting to resist is gently yet firmly drawn into participating in the group dynamic.

The team combine their exercise class with strong visual stimulation, often sexually suggestive, using multi coloured lighting design, as well as varied and beautiful screen projections such as images of the cosmic universe.

Andy Black manages to capture and combine the essentials of myth, ritual, sexuality and celebration into a bizarre mental and physical work-out whilst harnessing the power of group movement and dance. It's potentially one of the the more unusual theatre event you'll attend this year.

Crazy or not - it’s scientifically proven that physical activity improves your state of well-being, and that changing your body’s rhythms increases blood circulation, temperature and heart rate as well as releasing happiness hormones; and that's exactly what the latest Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia research recommends to ward off the condition.

This isn't for everyone but if you're a stressed Londoner the experience will do you an awful lot of good in many ways, just make sure you don’t eat or drink too much beforehand, and be willing to participate.

The company promises a body-mind aerobics for the post-rave generation in the form of a dance workshop, shamanic journey and stand-up comedy. Besides being a bit thin on the latter, they do deliver exactly what they promise. No more and no less.