OzAsia Review: Specific Places Need Specific Dances

Darlane Litaay of Papua and Tian Rotteveel of the Netherlands are edgy, contemporary dancers and choreographers.

Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 27 Sept 2017

Darlane Litaay of Papua and Tian Rotteveel of the Netherlands are edgy, contemporary dancers and choreographers. Rotteveel is also a composer who explores the relationship between sound and motion, and the physical effect of sound on the body. Their friendship forms the basis of the theatre work Specific Places Need Specific Dances.

Using the accessible and interactive space at Nexus Arts, the guys perform on a simple, white floor. The technical equipment they needs is on full display, and they walk around the area, chatting, before gradually moving into the performance “space”. It is rare to find a dance piece which breaks down the fourth wall, and this is one of the exciting aspects of this work.

Rotteveel uses reverberating electronica to pull audience and performers together in something that borders on painful. This is not a comfortable work, on any level.

For a dance work, there was very little dance. In fact, there was surprisingly little movement of any sort. There was chat between the performers, but it was so muttered that it was difficult to hear. If they are going to speak on stage then they are going to have to learn to project. And their final manifesto to the audience, although beautifully written, was too long, and needs to be presented in some other form that just sitting on the floor and reading it. Much of what was said should have been put across in the work instead.

This is a confronting and fascinating piece. But it came across as work that was still half-way through rehearsal. There is simply not enough meat on the bones to make this a fully-formed piece of theatre.

Litaay and Rotteveel are both warm, personable and obviously talented performers. And kudos to them for pulling together something this edgy and interesting. However, I think they need to go back to the studio and find themselves a director to work with. Once they’ve been pummelled into shape by a good director, I would be first in line to catch this work again.

Review by Tracey Korsten

Venue: Nexus Arts
Season: September 27-28th 8 pm
Duration: 55 mins
Tickets: $25-$35

Suitable for 16 years and up. Contains full-frontal nudity.


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