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Sync Or Swim, Prince Regent Swimming Complex, Brighton, May 9
A buzz of excitement filled the humid viewing gallery above the Prince Regent pool - an inviting venue strung with large, reflective tinfoil circles like milk bottle tops.
The swimmers, from local clubs, were wonderful to watch as they arranged themselves in formation, arms and legs locking and rotating gracefully.
Some sections made delightfully camp spectacles: The Fountain Of Youth represented by six swimmers with miniature plastic fountains atop their heads, or the iconic shell Venus emerged from, Esther Williams-style.
The choreography team had developed storylines, such as sirens luring a drunken sailor to his doom, but other scenes seemed confusing and unfocused.
A projection screen showing random animations, a teddy puppet and elaborate explanations, proved distracting - especially as the entire laptop screen was visible.
The musicians, clad like Bat For Lashes rejects in feathers, animal costumes and floral sheets, played atmospheric electronic “free-improv sound experiments”.
This was all very well, but the ambient twiddling did not mesh with the swimming and one coach had to bang a block on the side of the pool just to give the frantically counting performers the rhythm.
Sync Or Swim was an interesting venture though – full marks to the pool for allowing such experimentation.
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