Dance takes all forms and shapes at M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival, in the spirit of collaboration and improvisation choreography expands into exciting performances at M1 Open Stage 2.
Stephanie Burridge in collaboration with Yarra Ileto opens the evening with and appetite for pleasure and precision in Mist. A duet between a dancer and the talented composer and performer Kailin Yong. Ileto manages to draw attention to the smallest details in her body while allowing space for live music to exist by itself as well as in conjunction with the poignant movement that maps out the stage to an end of superb comfort and acceptance. Contrastingly, Gabrielle Revlock investigates time and rhythm with a frenetic and captivating performance with a hula-hoop in Unstructured Time. Perhaps, the most captivating performance of the evening. Revlock cleverly takes advantage of the unexpected through a structured improvisation to project her movement out on the stage, while engaging with the audience in the most random situations – keeping the performance very exciting from the beginning to the end. Investigating not the limitations of dancing inside a hula-hoop but instead, it’s potential for performance.
Can’t look through your eyes is the second solo of the night with choreography by Katja Grässli and performed by Lau Beh Chin. Beh Chin traces the floor with a pair of ordinary high heels leaving a clicking sound behind that grows through the performance dramatising even further this solo which moves between theatre and dance. The highlight of the piece comes towards the end after the composition takes a full circle to find an end similar to the beginning getting the stilettos back on her feet. Red and long nails enlarge the performer’s fingers on a frenetic hand-sequence terminating in desperation.
Ban is the second last piece of the evening, and by now the audience wants to see more dancing, more movement and action, but instead, we are surprised with a dance piece that constructs beautiful images on stage with two dancers resting and sculpting each other’s body, on top of one another. The imagery is pretty, and the movement is slow by Hwang Dasom and Park Shin Jung.
Closing up the cycle of performances for M1 Open Stage 2 is Albert Tiong with Touch. A challenging duet for two male dancers at the pick of their careers. Shaun Lim and Shawn Tey breath exactly at the same time to achieve perfect unison, dancing rather fast on top of a large table. The choreography sometimes underscores the music allowing one to connect with the context rather than the actual dance. This piece has many tones to it and not one straight interpretation allowing for a wider spectrum of ideas to flow into the audience’s mind.
Albert Tiong’s Touch was selected during the awards ceremony for the Fukuoka Dance Fringe Festival in Japan.