Rachel Ogle opens the quadruple bill of Release 6.0 with ‘Mandala’, a hurricane of movement and gentle dance interrupted with gracious lifts, accompanied by a constant run-dance around circles. In here, the dancers interrupt their flow of movement to inhabit a sculptural landscape of Asian classical dance poses, to later return to the same ecosystem of circling pathways, lifts and shortlived solos. ‘Mandala’ has a slow start and finishes in a quiet manner as if the sea storm quietly dissipates in the thick of the waves into a calm, serene and reflective sea.
Release 6.0 moves forward to the most engaging and entertaining dance piece of the night ‘Draw-err’ by Fairul Azreen b Mohd Zahid with meticulous accuracy and beauty. Two dancers explore a skintight unison, at the same time, manoeuvring a dazzling light on stage revealing and hiding sections of this mesmerising mass of dance material. The costumes remind me of 1990’s British contemporary dance not helping the audience to read the choreography. This duet demonstrates exceptional dance skills and dance training from the performers. However, the choreography seems to be just a collection of very complex material leaving no room to wonder past the spectacle.
Martina Feiertag and Eva Tei Yi Qi present ‘World’s Best Culture.’ A ploy on explicit tag lines from both Malaysian and German vacationists culture. In a fight ring, the obvious is overstated ‘ Malaysia truly Asia’ accompanied by choreography that wants to look like a fight, but it’s short-lived falling into the non-descriptive contemporary dance material one finds in a dance class.
Release 6.0 closes the night with ‘Re: path’ by Sharin Johry in collaboration with dancers demonstrating a strong chemistry between the cast, dancers gravitate towards one another with warmth and precision. Maya Dance Theatre founding dancers take the stage to celebrate the companies 10th anniversary on this revival, re-worked choreography. Typical of the group the dance material is inspired by classical Asian dance forms revealing a contemporary approach explicit in its use of pathways, synergy and rhythmic dynamics that bring the choreography to a chirpy end.