Dance Review: Kinship

Two different tales are told through contemporary dance which highlights the compelling storytelling and talent of Bangarra Dance Theatre.

KinshipPresented by Adelaide Festival Centre and Bangarra Dance Theatre
Reviewed 22 October 2014

Kinship, choreographed by Stephen Page, presents two different tales through contemporary dance which highlights the compelling storytelling and talent of Bangarra Dance Theatre.

The first section of the show, Brolga, is the shorter and more fluid of the two pieces in Kinship. It presents a beautiful tale of a young woman’s interactions with the environment around her when she finds herself on a brolga feeding ground.

The intricacy of the entire piece is wonderful to view. The set pieces from Jacob Nash are pieces of art in themselves and blend into the lightly detailed edges of the costumes created by Jennifer Irwin. The striking makeup of the performers and the final paint work on the lead dancer are carefully incorporated into the production without stealing away from the storyline. The storytelling of this shorter piece is a soothing production that lulls gently to the finish.

The second part of the performance, ID, is a showcase of talent from the individual dancers. The section is light on set pieces and detailed costumes to instead present a greater focus on the movements of the 14 dancer ensemble.

Traditional movements are combined into the contemporary dances and are utilised for the short plots that are presented in this half of the performance. The separation of the short plots and the quick changes in themes are cut with the curtain coming down which leaves the individual stories feeling like skits. However, as this section presented a focus on the dancers’ skills through movement, the disjointed sensation is quickly lost.

The use of multimedia in the second section is also a highlight. It blends into the dance production neatly while adding an extra dimension to the performance without stealing focus. This, mixed in with the blend of modern, indigenous and natural music by David Page and Steve Francis, moves the scenes pleasantly through their individual plots.

Kinship by Bangarra Dance Theatre is touring as part of the company’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Twitter: @AlexDunkin

Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 22-25 October 2014
Duration: 90mins (including interval)
Tickets: $30.00 – $60.00
Bookings: Book through BASS online or phone 131 246


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