PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 October, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 October, 1997, 12:00am

Danseomanie: Cunning Dance Wonderland. Fringe Club. October 10 Attending this latest show by independent dance group Danseomanie was a bit like being in a super-trendy fashion boutique in London or New York.

Great music, an urge to dance, cutting-edge design ideas and yet the sort of deliberate bittyness that comes from the merchandise being a concept rather than a narrative.

This was a series of dance sketches and skits performed by Abby Chan and friends around the theme of 'circus'. The team created humour in their dance by introducing incongruous juxtapositions. An orange-balancing act somehow produces a glass of freshy-squeezed juice from a foot; an elaborate dance is performed by a remote-control car.

It did not all work: although some of the magic tricks were not supposed to go right, I did sometimes wonder what the point of them going wrong was - whether this was the best way to serve humour and the audience.

The most interesting 'design' was when the stage turned into a giant movie screen, but instead of being a solid piece of flat material, it was made up of thin strips of plastic through which the performers could pass.

This was dancing to the prompts of a movie screen - a sort of movement version of karaoke.

The opportunities for merging stage reality with film reality - with people appearing to run out of the film and return to it - were endless and unfortunately largely unexplored in this performance.

With a tighter choreography and timing we would have been forced to question our perceptions, to have laughed, to have been struck by the Alice Through the Looking Glass element of the show rather than merely to have thought 'what a neat effect' as we did.

It was a fun night, as demanding as a good TV comedy-chat show, and showed that Danseomanie was continuing in its stated aim: to glamorise and popularise the dance form.