Performing Arts

Theatre Review: Happy as Larry

Presented by Shaun Parker & Company
Reviewed Saturday 3 August 2013

Shaun Parker and Company are touring Australia with their latest dance work Happy as Larry.

The production features nine dancers, Craig Bary, Jana Castillo, Toby Derrick, Libby Zyrel Montilla, Josh Mu, Sophia Hdaba, Timothy Ohl, Marnie Palomares, Lewis Rankin and Joshua Thomson in an upbeat performance with wonderful twists on many popular styles of dance, including hip hop and ballet.

Once the dancers appear their bright colourful, casual clothes and smiles light up the stage. One dancer even has the joy of performing most the show wearing roller skates.

The dancers perform within a simple set consisting of a giant blackboard block and a collection of helium filled balloons. The rotation of the black block allows for smooth transitions between scenes and dancers while acting as a focal point of the show. During the performance the board is cleverly blended into the movements to become a piece of art in itself.

As the name of the show suggests there is a lot of happiness and uplifting beats throughout the show. The satirical notes in the muscular displays and a beautiful simple yet intimate moment on the roller skates are just a few of the moments which add a real punch and heart to the performance.

The laughter throughout the show from the dancers is joyous and brings the performances to life, whether it be a pair of female dancers laughing while having fun or a male dancer standing still and inhaling helium.

No level of the stage is left untouched by the finale with chalk on the floor, dancers attached to and above the black block, and the balloons which rise and fall on command from one of the male dancers.

The entire cast performed ably and created their own unique characters which flowed throughout the entirety of the show. The choreographer has done an exceptional job with the show and the movements. Time is dedicated to highlight the talents of each dancer without taking away from the overall experience of the show.

The composers, Nick Wales and Bree van Reyk, have produced a set of music which played well into the highs and lows of the performance and matched effectively with the light and design work from Adam Gardnir and Luiz Pampolha.

Happy as Larry was an upbeat dance production suitable for all ages.

Reviewed by Alex Dunkin

Adelaide season ended


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