A double bill of dance from South Africa, presented as part of the unique Afrovibes festival running at The Courtyard throughout the week, brought a taste of something completely different to the Hereford venue.

The first piece, Inception featured choreographer and performer Sonia Radebe who gradually emerges from darkness, only her face highlighted by the lamp inside her headwear, the rest in darkness. Inching onto the stage, the journey she is taking seems initially to be one she’s undertaking with reluctance and no choice, and ends with the sound of disconsolate weeping. An unsettling piece set to the brooding sound of Taj Travellers’ music, this was dance with a language and vocabulary that often felt untranslatable with a narrative that ultimately proved elusive.

The second half of the double bill was equally unsettling, at times verging on the uncomfortable, as Qudus Onikeku performed My Exile is in my Head, another solo dance piece inspired by Wole Soyinka’s prison notes. That inspiration is what perhaps made this a more accessible piece. Employing a dance vernacular that bled into physical theatre, the feelings of conflict, despair and resignation were eloquently conveyed, and the dissonance and cacophony of the accompanying music ensured that those feelings became a physical experience for audience and performer.

I can’t be sure that I 'enjoyed' either piece, but each offered a unique experience - and that's certainly something The Courtyard is to be commended for having made available.