THE audience had witnessed the loss of innocence in an orgy which culminated in rape, but there was no revulsion. Eyes blazed with excitement. A state of rapture gripped and held. Angelin Preljocaj (Prel-szo-karsz), born in France to Albanian refugees, is one of the world's most extraordinary young talents in contemporary dance. That much was known before his company's debut in Hong Kong. What could not be anticipated, was its effect: mass conversion. Preljocaj's early training was in classical ballet. This was swiftly established as the male pair in Larme Blanches commenced their twin routine. Like masters of tai chi, they executed each time-suspending movement in unison, bodies etched in sharp relief. Then the two became four as their female partners, clad like the men in black pants and white dress shirts - oddly, just the left sleeve ruffled - joined them in a courtship which grew in tempo and complexity. Lovers or antagonists? Like hands on two clocks which alternated between keeping time together and being out of sync, the dancers met and parted, while beneath their stylised display lay a deeper, primitive impulse. What was so tantalising in Larme Blanche, became apparent in Noces. The music may be Stravinsky's, but to this work, Preljocaj brings all the passion and mystery of his Balkan heritage as his five couples enact a wedding ritual fashioned from ancient traditions and childhood nightmares. Celebration and tragedy were mingled from the outset as the bride, dressed in red and surrounded by her bridesmaids, swooned in their midst. As the festivities degenerated into orgiastic frenzy, the celebrants vented their violence and lust on life-sizedbridal dolls until suddenly and terribly, all pretence of parody was shattered. Enhancing Preljocaj's extraordinary imagery were Jacques Chatelet's lighting design, Caroline Anteski's costumes and above all, his marvellous dancers.