Strange Fish opens with a semi-naked woman hanging Christ-like from a cross, singing. The piece ends with a similar scene, in which the woman lies crumpled on her stomach on the hard, dusty ground – shaken down from the cross by the protagonist (Wendy Houston), who having searched for a man to love is instead visited by nightmarish, biblical plagues.
Strange Fish, choreographed in 1992, was the Prix Italia 1994 Special Prize winner for Music & Arts. The playing of the ensemble, the brilliant conflict and complementing of personalities; the shared sense of risk and trust, the acuteness of timing and physical response is matched by an emotional awareness that is dazzlingly communicative.
"Content, rather than style drives DV8's work, which distinguishes it from a lot of other contemporary dance. Issues, rather than 'prettiness' or aesthetics, are important. Our work delves into how individuals relate to one another, emotionally and intellectually, rather than being about movement or design patterns per se; exploring the individual's actions, and looking at how these in turn reect political and social issues." Lloyd Newson