Is it me or are contemporary dance performances getting more obscure and shorter? I still remember sitting in a theatre as a youngster, maybe 11 or 12 years old, and being completely mesmerised by the Ballet Rambert's Ghosts. The music was Central/South American pan pipes (this was before we heard these on every street corner) and the narrative was very definitely about oppression, revolution and loss.
Last night's Love and War by the Mark Bruce Company was far more open to interpretation (it was also only an hour long, whereas we had two hours with an interval back in the 1970s). Was this a circus of life with each of us doing our own tricks for the ring master? Was this the eternal struggle with death (or depression) the hint being in the title? Was it merely vignettes with no over-all organising theme? Whatever it was, it was fab; absorbing, emotional, thought-provoking, scary and expertly danced.
It came to me that contemporary dance is becoming more and more like abstract art. The question is not what does it mean, but what does it mean to me? And, last night, having identified two of the dancers with people in my personal life, I happily riffed to my own tune, made up my own tale.
The only negative for me was that the music was turned up too loud! Now I am sounding middle aged.