Presented by Dances for a Small Stage Australia
Reviewed 20 February 2017
Lisa Lonero and Rachel Kennedy brought the Canadian concept, which has been been running in British Columbia for around 20 years to the Fringe in 2016. In their second season, they have produced some exciting works, again demonstrating the energy, style and talent which won them the Best Dance Award last year. The project’s vision echoes that from Canada to bring together dancers, musicians and other artists mixing ‘music and technology with …dance works that everyone can enjoy and appreciate’ (from http://www.smallstage.ca/about/). They certainly succeeded yesterday afternoon bringing together dancers, choreographers and musicians to produce engaging work much appreciated by a varied audience, from kids to grandparents.
Oranges saw Ruby Dolman and Courtney Cox, accompanied by Jesse Budel, playing and singing his own composition, enticing the audience to embrace and enjoy all the sights, sounds and scents of the fruit. I especially enjoyed the way the dancers wove their bodies around the fruits and used them as glasses or binoculars – suggesting a whole new take on seeing the world.
Khasm contrasted the harsh metallic sounds of Daisy-Chain-Massacre and the much gentler rhythms of the sensual belly dances performed by Bridgett Cains, Bridgett Anderson, Kelly Nicholas and Maryann Boettcher – certainly an unexpected but highly successful juxtaposition.
Dancer Ruby Dolman and performer/composer Leah Blankendaal combined superbly in Ha’Adam, which means the first human being. Drawing audience members into the performance, Dolman danced the connections between us while Blankendaal reinforced these connections through the vital element of water – pouring water from one vessel to another and almost ritualistically scooping it up and letting it fall. Ha’Adam is at once a peaceful reflection on ritual and our connectedness but the spilling the water, outside of the vessel, seemed to me to symbolise the disruptions possible if we ‘lose our connection to the world’ (program notes).
¿Por qué? is a response to a personal journey to Argentina and asked the eternal question Why? In this instance Why don’t you love me? Emily Mayes exciting flamenco dance was complemented by Antony Zatorske’s music and performance with the relationship between the two moving through a gamut of emotions. When Mayes is showing how sad she is, curled up on the floor, hiding her head Zatorske standing over her makes for an uncomfortable in terms of the power relationship. Howver, as he strokes her back and she arises we see an eventual reconciliation.
The final piece Difference danced by Courtney Cox with music and soundscape by Tracy Chen, lives up to its name. The piece takes place in a large sheet of bubble wrap, with Cox reminding us that she had a normal childhood, with normal parents. She was so normal that she did what all siblings do – went out of her way to embarrass her brother by dancing in the supermarket. Her movements finally entangle her in the bubble wrap and she appears trapped but rolling free she remarks that she didn’t expect things to be like this – leaving us to figure out whether that is a good or a bad thing.
All in all, some exciting dance and musical performances that are well worth seeing.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 5: 4.5
Venue: Red Room at Stomping Ground Studios
Season: 24,25 Feb at 7.30pm and 25,26 Feb at 2.30pm
Duration: 90 min
Tickets: Full Price: $28.00 Concession: $24.00