CHAMPIONS is a stonkingly good dance work … with the common touch.
It’s a large scale work with 11 dancers filling a field of dreams inside the vast space and it begins like any large scale sporting event with the team captain interview. Sports presenter, Mel McLaughlin, well known to viewers as one of the anchors of Seven’s Olympic coverage, is on the screen wall which dominates the upstage area of the arena. She is interviewing Carlee Mellow and we get a team update on the selections for today’s match.
Pre-game, a suitably comic and silly swan mascot has entertained the large and vocal crowd to a pounding pizzicato on the soundtrack and the audience is ready for the action. At interval she reappears in a circular lake of light … I loved that! There are cheers and claps as the players wander on with their yoga mats to warm up. In the same way that everyone’s a sports fan during the Olympics, this work begins with expert coverage to inform and guide us. Mellow and McLaughlin go through each dancer stats, temperament and what they bring to the line-up while a manufactured playing, smiling, concentrating image of each woman fills the screen.Continue reading FORM DANCE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘CHAMPIONS’ @ CARRIAGEWORKS→
Form Dance Projects and Riverside are currently presenting the production LINEAGE with performances that draw from traditional Indian dance as well as modern dance, performed by Australian indigenous dancers.
The opening piece, VANDANA, is performed by Aruna Gandhimathinathan and Shruti Ghosh. Aruna & Shruti were both classically trained in India. In VANDANA the performers seek the grace of the Hindu deities, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswathi, Lord Hayagriva and Lord Guru. Their costumes are bright and colourful and their dance is graceful, energetic and enthralling. Their hand gestures and head and eye movements are subtle, precise and captivating. Their ankle bells create a rhythm and add another dimension to their performance. They are accompanied by beautiful, droning Indian music.
Shruti then performs a solo piece, KATHAK NRITTA, a very rhythmic piece of Kathak style dance. The complicated beats known as Rudra Taal (11 beats) and Teentaal (16 beats) work well with the dancer’s ankle bells.
Aruna’s solo performance, JATISWARAM IN BHARATANATYAM, is a more graceful dance accompanied by haunting and melodic Indian flute. The stage was dimly light, the backdrop was illuminated and the dance was performed in silhouette, – all together a sublime combination.
Aruna & Shruti performed a duet, YAHI MADHAVA, which describes a conversation between Radha and Krishna. It is one of the highlights of the evening. Radha is annoyed with Krishna as he has been unfaithful again, but Krishna’s dance, ubiquitous flute playing and deep love for Radha eventually holds sway and the couple are reunited.
After the interval Thomas E.S. Kelly and Carl Tolentino performed DARK DREAM. This is a work that explores nightmares where we are tormented by the presence of a creature along with a feeling of helplessness. Contemporary techniques draw on Thomas E.S. Kelly’s indigenous background to explore a haunted subconscious.
A DIP FOR NARCISSUS is Tammi Gissell’s interpretation of the myth of Narcissus. Tammi explores her sense of self and reflects on aspects of her life that influence how she sees herself. The use of simple props and dramatic dance movements encourage deep introspection.
WALKING THE PATH OF LINEAGE is the final work. Aruna and Shruti explore the world of rhythm utilising their respective Bharatanatyam and Kathak dance backgrounds. The dance utilises a playful calling and answer format. The special feature of this work is Prabhu Osoniqs’ use of and playing of The Hang, a modern Swiss musical instrument which works like a cross between a tabla and a steel drum. It looks like two large woks put together with a few holes in it and is played with the hands. It provides a wonderful melody and rhythm and amounted to a fascinating and sublime finish to the evening.
LINEAGE opened at the Riverside Theatre, Parramatta on Thursday 23rd May and plays until Saturday 25th May.