The Argus: Argus Angel logo - 100px wide The Argus: Brighton Festival 2012

The bond between mother and child is one of the strongest that exists. It can also be one of the most fragile. This poignant duet between choreographer, David Bolger, and his mother, Madge, presents a visual snapshot of the ups and downs of their relationship through the ebbs and flows of a shared passion: swimming.

Fluid movements beautifully capture the lightness of feeling associated with submersion. Mother and son are clearly comfortable with each other physically but without any sense of overbearing possession, complementing rather than vying for attention onstage.

There are tantalising and humorous glimpses into pivotal moments of the family’s history provided by both performers at intervals through a taped narrative; each giving insights into a unique relationship intrinsically connected through motion and water. Madge’s beguiling storytelling technique is disarming in its gentle matter-of-factness. She is seemingly oblivious to its hypnotic quality that is enhanced by the soundtrack of waves breaking softly on shore.

The repetitive simplicity of much of the arm and leg swim-stroke style movements, drifting seamlessly from one to the other, encapsulate the essence of freedom that Madge feels – time and body momentarily suspended – within the water. And a tender dance to Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable underlines the closeness of this coupling, a touching tribute to the sheer delight and enjoyment the pair so obviously take in each other’s company.

This is a captivating and moving performance that culminates in a short film, Deep End Dance, featuring the pair in a municipal pool.