Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed Friday March 12th 2010 (See Festival Guide for dates, times, etc.)
Presented by Leigh Warren & Dancers in association with Adelaide Festival & Adelaide Festival Centre’s Pivot(al) Program
Bookings: BASS outlets 131 246 or http://www.adelaidefestival.com.au
This is a programme of two linked but contrasting works; Rubicon, choreographed by Paris based Melbournian Prue Lang in collaboration with the dancers, and Meridian, choreographed by our own Leigh Warren. The intriguing sets and costumes were designed by Mary Moore.
Rubicon is performed on a green square board divided into segments, with the dancers initially walking in straight lines up and down or across the board, like chess pieces. With their striped topped socks they invoke thoughts of a group of soccer players. Occasionally they bob and change direction until one begins a solo routine, returning to the stylised walking as another takes over. The dancers begin to interact, turning each other as they connect. The work slowly evolves, gaining momentum as it progresses and becomes more complex and richly varied, yet always maintaining a core of serenity.
Meridian opens with the three women performing a powerful, primal dance together in the centre of a large circle, the percussive music of composer Alexander Waite Mitchell adding to that wild, Pagan feel. Margie Medlin’s elaborate lighting plot adds greatly to the overall atmospheric effect of this work. The four men enter, running around the outer rim of the circle, stopping abruptly then moving on. Eventually they interact with the women, a mating ritual ensuing with the men competing as the women now run around them, but soon the men die and the women finally exit the circle leaving the men’s bodies lying there. There is a raw power and great strength exuding from this work, coupled with enormously energetic work from the dancers. Leigh Warren has a unique way of working with dancers that seems to draw on each individual’s particular strengths and abilities, even in ensemble work, and that is once again in evidence in this striking work.
Dancers, Bec Jones, Chris Hewitt, Deon Hastie, Glen McCurley, Lachlan Bell, Lisa Griffiths and Lizzie Vilmanis show very different aspects of modern dance in these two pieces, the first being filled with a subdued sensuality, the second being overtly based in power and sexuality. In both pieces they are remarkable, creating a range of emotional levels and capturing the imagination of the audience. With so much on and so little time remaining, make this one of your choices.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Glam Adelaide Arts Editor.