Random Dance, The Millenarium

Review in Issue 10-2 | Summer 1998

Wayne McGregor’s new piece, The Millenarium, promised to be an exciting and organic blend of dance and light technology. The extraordinary graphics on the flyer, not to mention all the blurb, raises hopes of a real interaction between the dancers and the effects. After barely five minutes, though, it is clearly hopeless to expect more than another fairly soulless ‘modern’ dance routine with a few fancy projections.

Only the first few seconds, while the lights slowly come up, hold any real tension. This is also the only moment of connection between light, sound and human movement. A projected, vertical blue beam slowly expands to silhouette McGregor’s opening solo, while the score by zoviet:France starts building-up its multi-distorted ‘chord’ (one chord, that is, lasting the entire length of the show). From here on, all light effects simply remain in the background, banal and uninventive, while the dancers get on with the job.

The piece draws on the obvious and dated aesthetic of ‘cyber bodies’, with the women dressed in shiny ‘alien babe’ style miniskirts and the men in skin-tight body suits (save one who had chosen a miniskirt instead). The dance seems to be based on the idea of ‘sampling’ human movement; sequences were looped, slightly changed, looped again, all done with lots of energy but to absolutely no effect. The occasional flash of empty, vaguely erotic symbolism – biting hands, repetitive pelvic thrusts, leering expressions – mean the piece slowly begins to exude the unbearable, superficial sexuality of an old Madonna video.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-2
p. 24