Four of Australia’s most exciting independent dance artists, premiered original work in this season.
Omer Backley-Astrachan, Craig Bary, Adam Blanch and Kristina Chan made for a delightful night of unique and thought-provoking work.
``A refreshingly diverse night of contemporary choreography``
TRIP FOR BISCUITS: ADAM
``The evening opened with Adam Blanchs’ ‘Trip for Biscuits’, the psychological thriller of the of bill. The jazzy score composed by Zackari Watt transported the audience to a 1930’s dance marathon and the dancers expressed the multiplicity of the human experience through their disturbingly liquid spines.`` Belle Beasley
PERFORMERS: ELLA DRIENE, ALEXANDRA FORD, ALLIE GRAHAM, NICHOLAS JACHNO, MIKAYLA NANGLE & SKIP WILLCOX
HUMAN REMAINS: OMER BACKLEY-ASTRACHAN
Human Remains is a critical and playful glance at humanity in the 21st century.
In the shadows of an eminent apocalypse, Human Remains steps into the abyss of a dystopian world built on the ruins of what once was a glorious kingdom. A gentle unearthing of broken pieces from the ashes reveals beauty, grace, pain and power.
COMPOSER: JAMES HAZEL, PERFORMERS: ALEXANDRA FORD, ALLIE GRAHAM, NICHOLAS JACHNO, MIKAYLA NANGLE & SKIP WILLCOX
SHIMMERING TOWARDS SILENCE: KRISTINA
``Timelines expand and contract deeply. The shimmer of life is palpable. Everything is connected. In an overwhelming psychedelic bliss, we are addicted to her ecology, raising alarms for extinction. The abundance of life gradually becomes silenced, before there was a chance to knowingly describe it.`` Belle Beasley
COMPOSER: JAMES HAZEL, PERFORMERS: ELIZA COOPER, NICHOLAS JACHNO, MIKAYLA NANGLE, SKIP WILLCOX, & GEORGIA VAN GILS
LADEN BLUE: CRAIG BARY
This work is the feminine, this work is the mother earth.
Our world is Laden Blue
Once to love with a lot to lose
We made a promise that faded fast
Pushed by pressures thought beyond our grasp
All I needed was you on my side
Listening carefully to my sighs
We reveal a heavy truth in this place without you
Because all we ever really had was only you
Song Excerpt from Laden Blue: written by Craig Bary & Zackari Watt
COMPOSER: ZACKARI WATT, PERFORMERS: ALEXANDRA FORD, ALLIE GRAHAM, NICHOLAS JACHNO, JESSE MURRAY, MIKAYLA NANGLE & SKIP WILLCOX
Meet The Choreographers
The opening piece is “Trip For Biscuits,” a work by Adam Blanch. A rising star on the Sydney choreographic scene, the work is set in the scattered mind. It explores the endless cycle of chaos and our constant search for purpose. As the curtains rise, the dancers are dressed like they are ready to compete. Red shorts and white singlets, the dancers move chaotically as if searching for a finishing line that doesn’t exist. The choreography is intense and engaging, arms and legs jerk with strength in between moments of softness and fluidity. At one point, a dancer limp with exhaustion falls to the floor while other dancers struggle to pick her up. It is as though her body is succumbing to the fatigue of finding her purpose. The final scene is gripping, the dancers move in a frenzy as the curtains fall around them. Allie Graham is the star of this work, it is hard to take your eyes from her through the entire piece.
Backley-Astrachan’s work, Human Remains, focused on a post-apocalyptic theme, where out of the ashes, we as humanity can rise again, exploring the concept of surviving where no other have, and beauty and grace from ashes. There where whiffs of the mythological, presented as a retina of images moving through the work. Animalistic tableau gave resemblance of something familiar, moving into exploration, and sitting in the moment as the dancers wove their way through and developed the idea, whilst morphing from idea to idea. There is a subtle beauty, even in the obtuse, in Backley-Astrachan’s work that pervades the whole work — from the way partnerships are transitioned, to the shapes themselves and the detail within, to the consistent return to motif, which makes for satisfying viewing. There is a brilliance to the partnering work — limbs work sympathetically so that the duo easily slides into a trio or slips into a group encircling each other and then moving into interacting in a completely different manner without the audience being particularly aware of how we got from one to the other. Use of perhaps Hebrew, albeit non-English language, was an interesting feature, with one woman shouting it out as if in countdown, adding the intrigue of the work. Backley-Astrachan knows how to create a world for the dancers to exist within, and the audience is drawn in.
Kristina Chan’s ‘Shimmering Towards Silence’ was a minimalists dream; utilising composer James Hazels’ organic and naturalistic score to immerse the audience in a world outside of the theatre. The dancers’ evoked real and surreal elements of the natural environment, moving with a powerful fragility. ‘Shimmering Towards Silence’ presents an elegant outer shell, but this only a momentary illusion: a haunting complexity lays beneath.
The final work is Craig Bary’s “Laden Blue.” - the piece itself vividly explores themes of bullying and domestic violence. It is chilling, and perhaps the most striking piece of the night, the audience is completely transfixed. The work begins with the dancers dressed in casual clothes, interacting with each other knowingly. The choreography is cleverly suggestive of relationships between the various dancers, yet fluid enough to make the audience wonder at the work’s direction. As Zachari Watt’s composition builds, the petite and dynamic Alexandra Ford emerges as the star of the work. During the work, she takes to a microphone and sings. Later, with her tiny frame she is pushed and pulled by the other dancers. Dark themes emerge, but the work ultimately lets the audience sit with their own interpretation.