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Dancing Into Dreamland at Cova Santa

There's a tale to be told at Cova Santa's latest bout of immersive theatre with the Storytellers.

With intrigue and childlike innocence, we made the cross-island journey to Cova Santa for the first instalment of Storytellers presents Dancing Into Dreamland. Following the proverbial white rabbit into Wonderland, we were unsure of what we would encounter.

Our experience would be akin to exploring our subconscious thoughts - the deepest parts of our memory, where apparitions from our childhood had lain dormant until now. After its debut party in Tulum last January, Dancing Into Dreamland finally gave Ibiza a taste.

The Beginning

On entry, we walked through a tunnel of six-foot-tall pencils. An enormous book then invited us to document our wildest dreams, like a manifestation of the wishing well in archive format.

Further, around the base of the complex, meditation areas had captured dozens of people sprawled across the floor in various states of zen.

And then there were the books. Dozens of actual physical books, each containing an untold number of combinations of words, hung around the venue. They were symbolic. In this digital age of instant gratification, have we forgotten the thrill of immersing ourselves between the pages of a good story?

Elsewhere a musician playing a variety of ethnic instruments had amassed a modest crowd. However, the lasers cutting through the artificial smoke at one of the higher levels ultimately caught our attention.

Like a calling in a dream sequence, we were drawn to the bright lights and the accompanying song cry.

The Middle

Osunlade was steering the boat through the clouds, and the action going on all around us really seized our imagination. Childhood paraphernalia dangled from the ceiling - toy pandas holding umbrellas, dolly prams and various other nostalgic trinkets.

A mountainous pile of books that never tumbled remained in a constant time-lock. At the front of the stage sat a giant QWERTY typewriter but with no scroll of paper. Instead in its place, a series of entertainers were putting pen to paper, making it up as they went along.

Where would their tale take us? Those of us on the dance floor were the readers. Or perhaps we were the protagonists? The lines blurred.

Next, we came to the peripheral entertainment. Contortionists wrapped their limbs around themselves on a raised platform right amid the lasers, trapeze artists swung from a pendulum and stilt walkers infiltrated the crowd.

On stage, a native American elder had assumed the role of narrator. Like a spiritual hype man, he worked the crowd to every drop.

Later, Persian goddesses covered in gold body paint joined him, twisting their bodies erotically.

The End

With our senses bombarded from every angle, it was easy to forget that the soundtrack was what sewed all these components together into a linear narrative.

It was now time for Satori to enter stage centre and conduct the orchestra.

The snake charmer hypnotised us with his impressive flute play. Struck by his awe, we were willing participants who hung off his every note and followed his lead. Like a Balearic pied piper, we were given no option but to elope with the music.

The thrilling crescendo saw a dance troupe from an African tribe dazzle us with their athleticism, synchronic choreography and faultless balancing.

On the dance floor, a Chinese dragon meandered through the crowd as Satori wrapped up his set to rapturous applause.

A story well told. We danced. We dreamt. We read the transcript from the first page to the very last word, and we were captivated throughout.

All that remains to be done is sit tight and wait patiently to see how the next chapters of the story unfold. Fortunately, we don't have too much time to wait.

Storytellers returns to Cova Santa on 14 August with the next part of the tale, besides Midsommar a collaboration with elrow on 8 August. See below for more information and tickets.

WORDS | Stephen Hunt and Stefano Lariccia

Storytellers presents Theatre of Sound listings - 2024

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