Ritualistic folk music from rural Java, experimental heavy metal and avant garde contemporary dance came incongruously together in the UK premier of Attractor.

Brighton Festival guest director David Shrigley said himself in the introductory notes that one of the joys of the festival is to experience the unknown, and rarely could that sentiment have been as true as it was here.

A collaboration between leading Australian dance groups Dancenorth and Lucy Gerurin Inc and Indonesian experimental duo Senyawa, Attractor is an extraordinary, at times challenging piece, as much about the musicians playing the part of folk shamans, as the dancers who succumb to their spell.

The musicians, critically revered in their own right for a uniquely abrasive style, build a ritualistic reverie which is the centrepiece for physical performances of frenzied headbanging, spasmodic juddering and general trance-induced states of otherworldliness.

Screeching, howling and scratching for air, Rully Shabara uses his throat to monstrous effect, unnerving guttural noises inspiring convulsions, contortions and seizures.

Taking a secular and experimental interpretation of the transcendental state reached in Javan folk ceremonies, dancers appear to gasp, quiver and pass out into oblivion.

It is an uncompromising performance, Wukir Suryadi’s self-made bamboo instrument strumming doom-laden staccato riffs, underneath Shabara’s animalistic roar.

The choreography revealed itself in struggling jerks rather than flowing moves, while a drawn-out finale saw previously unseen crew and audience members bolster the ensemble on-stage for a final clapping, circling, lose yourself mantra.