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Mind, Body & Soul
In between all the gigs, there was a multitude of intriguing non-music events at the Electric Picnic.
Adrienne Murphy, 13 Sep 2007
I arrived at the Electric Picnic intending to make straight for the Body and Soul area and catch a load of freebies in the yoga/reflexology/massage department as the hotpress reviewer of ‘non-music’ events.
I saw a bunch of fit-looking Capoeira dancers leaping about doing leg lifts and ducks in their baggy white pants and thought... man, that looks like hard work. Who was I trying to kid with these wholesome aspirations? Forget the yoga and the aphrodisiac herbal tonics, this whole event is such a turn-on it’s enough to make your chakras spin just walking around observing the hedonistic wonder, madness and unleashed creativity (anyone see that 8ft lit-up plastic robot walking through the crowds?)
I cruised around for a couple of hours, taking in the Body and Soul’s art and stunning tent, installation and psychedelic lighting design. At the Costume Drama tent, beautiful fairy-type women were initiating new arrivals out of everyday reality into magical consciousness by inviting them to transform themselves with brightly coloured floaty materials. Meanwhile the Aura Photography stand around the corner showed people their invisible colours.
I left the amniotic safety of the Body and Soul and got swept up by the crowd along the main drag, quickly eschewing asking for and trying to follow people’s surreal directions, or the even more imaginary so-called maps of the event, instead handing it over to fate that I’d find the Hot Press Chat Room. It materialised in front of me, a little energy vortex all of its own, providing music lovers with brilliant opportunities to hear their favourite musicians interviewed live.
Soon I bumped into some friends who urged me to come and see this circus dance troupe from LA called Lucent Dossier. Lucent Dossier had one of the most enchanting large tents of the whole festival, a big white dome with these exotic, erotic wooden chandelier-type sculptures suspended from the ceiling above a raised, centrally-placed stage, upon which they performed the sexiest, most thrilling dance and acrobat act that I’ve ever seen, making this the best ‘non-music’ event I have witnessed at the festival. Incorporating striptease, burlesque, vaudeville, slapstick and trapeze, these outrageously costumed dancers would make you want to run away and join their circus. In one little vignette, Lucent Dossier performed what appeared to be a simulated bus crash in slow-motion, while onlookers gasped in ecstatic awe. I and the male pals I was with agreed that we’d never seen such a fine display of female posteriors in one place at the same time.