Reviewed Wednesday March 24th 2010
Presented by AC Arts
Venue: Adelaide College of the Arts, Main Theatre, 39 Light Square, Adelaide
Duration: 45 minutes
Season: Nightly to Sat. 27 March at 8.00pm
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 concession
Bookings: Venuetix or at the door
Directed by Peter Sheedy, and created by him in collaboration with the performers, the third year dance students at the College, this work is based in an exploration of body language. It takes its title from a term that was coined in the 1990s and popularised by Martin Lawrence in his 1992 situation comedy, Martin. It is abbreviated from the sarcastic term, “Talk to the hand, because the ear’s not listening”. The body language associated with this insulting term is to extend the arm, the palm of the hand facing the other person in a ‘stop’ gesture.
This work extends the concept to a wide range of body language, opening with a brief monologue incorporating a selection of terms we often use that refer to body parts, such as ‘the apple of your eye’ or even stretching the idea a little to include ‘going out on a limb’. What follows is a wide ranging piece that permits solo, small group and full ensemble sections, much of which seems to lean somewhat towards conflict and confrontation.
Alex Waite-Mitchell composed the high powered electronic music for this piece and performs it live on stage, improvising each performance and adding electric violin. The lighting is well-designed and varied, using geometric patterns, pools of light and images projected onto the floor. This is an extremely energetic work and the dancers show enormous enthusiasm. There is a great deal of intricacy in the choreography and the fractured narrative never ceases to engage. There is a great deal of communication between the dancers in their constantly evolving movement, consistent with the idea of non-verbal interaction. From individual work to complex ensembles this is a most impressive piece.
It is unfortunate that, once again, there are no photographs of the dancers in the programme to assist reviewers and other audience members in identifying individual performers. This would be of benefit to both reviewers and to the emerging dancers, who are now seeking recognition. This is a regular problem with student work and one that, hopefully, will be remedied.
This work has only a short run, so hurry to catch it while you still can.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Glam Adelaide Arts Editor