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London to premiere txt-dance theatrical fusion

Texterritory v.2.3 'first manifestation of Audience Interactive Media'

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A refreshing alternative to the Spanish theatrical filthfest XXX - currently corrupting the minds of London theatregoers who have been dragged kicking and screaming into the auditorium to witness an orgy of Iberian depravity - comes in the form of Texterritory v.2.3.

According to the press release, Texterritory is a landmark dance theatre piece created by Sheron Wray, dancer and artistic director of JazzXchange Music & Dance Co. By using text messaging, the audience will become intimately involved in shaping the development of the action on stage, both as a collective voice and as individuals. It is the first manifestation of AIM (Audience Interactive Media).

What that seems to mean is that the work marks a new phase of interactive performance, with artist and audience linked together through the medium of text messaging, to create a unique artistic experience. Texterritory is a unique world-first event pushing back the boundaries of the familiar to promote a new cultural experience enhanced by technology. Dance meets the mobile phone!!

Oh yes, is that the rustling of artistic envelopes being pushed back we can hear? Marvellous. And this is where you enter stage right into this txtastic terpsichorean extravaganza: As the story of Grace evolves, and she agonises about where her relationship with the elusive J might be headed, she seeks help and advice from the audience. The "smart" audience are invited to respond to Grace's cries for help, first with practical advice about how to prepare for her date, then in more subtle ways as she seeks to work through her emotional turmoil. The audience find themselves drawn into the performance in surprising ways, breaking down the conventional divide between audience and performance thus challenging the precepts of the custodians of the theatre.

Spot on. We can feel our precepts being challenged already. Still, it could make for an interesting - if noisy - evening. If you fancy pushing back the boundaries of the familiar, Texterritory v.2.3 is on 6 May 2003 at 8pm, The Robin Howard Dance Theatre, 17 Dukes Rd, Euston, London. Details are available on www.Textploitation.com.

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