Jo Lloyd and Nicola Gunn’s MERMERMER has come straight from performances in Melbourne as part of Chunky Move’s Next Move season .
The audience eavesdrops on Lloyd and Gunn’s comic rambling stream of consciousness monologues developed from what they call Conversation Therapy, created while they prepared for their interactive performance at the National Gallery of Victoria as part of Melbourne NOW. The duo keep up physical and verbal conversations simultaneously throughout the show .
The show’s title comes from English, French and Latin language roots and has multiple meanings – memory and the sea amongst them.
The duo are dressed in brightly coloured and patterned 1980’s style unitards and sneakers and have great fun in their riffing , flexible, writhing , sculptural and surprising movement and text discussion. Topics that come up for discussion include Axel Rose,Tilda Swinton , bald men and the British Museum.
They cover themselves in white and silver tinsel as their magnificent unison work and coordinated breathing feature in their work. At times tiny, ordinary everyday movements are repeated , at other times you can see the balletic influence. There are also Isadora Duncan flame like runs , skipping, darting fish like movements and a terrific use of their flowing hair.
There are other choreographic in jokes for those familiar with independent, contemporary dance . At one point, wearing huge silver tinsel wigs and in grey cloak like blankets they undulate like deep sea creatures.
Fluid sculptural poses are contrasted with kneeling , outstretched arms , backward walks and unusual lifts. Complicated floor patterns are negotiated, sexy sculptural entwinings , and long held arabesque penches ( but with long arms straight down ) are also included.
Gunn’s unpretentious, revelatory comic talent perfectly counterpoints Lloyd’s mischievous fluent choreography in their exchanges.
The show is an attempt to analyse dance making and the esoteric language of dance, a seemingly random blend of absurdity and satire which blends pop culture and high art . It has a somewhat improvised feel but is in fact tightly choreographed The soundtrack at times throbs, beeps and humms, at other times is delicate and chirpy. It is an attempt to analyse dance making and the esoteric language of dance , placing contemporary dance into clearly defined and recognisable psychological and social areas .
Quirky ,strange and delightful with some brilliant visual images, the audience, chuckling throughout, loved this show.
Running time 40 minutes no interval.
MERMERMER was performed at Carriageworks as part of Liveworks between 2-5 November.