ART & LIT REVIEW: Late @ BALTIC | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Is there anything better on a bitingly cold winter evening than a trip to the welcoming climes of a gallery? BALTIC Late firmly suggested not. The late-night opening was far more than just a chance to take a later look at the BALTIC’s latest exhibitions though (a retrospective of works by Rasheed Araeen, BALTIC Then & Now and the psychedelic installation from Heather Phillipson). An inclusive, informal and deeply engaging artist-led workshop gave an opportunity to create a concertina-fold book, while a talk by local seabird expert Dan Turner surrounding the nesting kittiwakes that line the building proved fascinating. Filled with facts both recent and historical, it gave a deep insight into the habits of the feathered residents delivered with passion.

Perhaps the centrepiece of the evening though was Pilgrim, a solo dance performance by Lucy Suggate soundtracked by acclaimed electronic producer James Holden. The highly physical work brought to the fore the intrinsic connections between music and movement, each step and form either perfectly synchronised with or reacting to the pulsating yet highly rhythmic score. At some points graceful and others intense (there was an entire sequence solely dedicated to bodily convulsions in time with bass-laden pulses), Pilgrim proved to be an enveloping exploration of an ancient artistic partnership brought firmly into contemporary times. Insightful and entertaining, it made you wish that BALTIC Late happened more often.

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