Dancers’ Locker – Frontier Danceland company dancers test out new ideas in the field of choreography alongside a new dance work choreographed by Australian duo Gabrielle Nankivell and Luke Smiles, FOCUS.
Starting off the program Aymeric Bichon presents EASEL. Emerging from the darkness of the studio, a solo dancer conquers the subdivided stage in small sections followed by the shadows of two other dancers. EASEL eventually becomes a trio and the exchange of unison material is clear amongst the group. However, the idea of multiplication of one solo into a trio is short lived. The trio is at times hidden amongst the set, revealing its plenitude at the end; the idea of hiding and revealing sections of material in this stage isn’t fully achieved.
Dancers’ Locker is a presentation of choreographic ideas and not necessarily fully finished and polished dance works.
Following up, Adele Goh presents UNO MOMENTO a bonkers and mad dance piece. The cast is submerged in a landscape of balloons, allowing a playful and fun dance quality to arise amongst the cast. The movement is dangerous at times juxtaposed against a very theatrical setting; the unexpected is key in this work – keeping the audience on their toes. Clapping accompanies the piece to the end, announcing its beginning and finale. The simplicity of the structure of this dance piece allows Adele to successfully achieve two very important things, first and foremost she is able to guide the audience throughout the entire piece bringing a focus to the childish and playful characteristics of the work, and second this allows time to develop material sequences that are challenging for the dancers without jeopardizing the piece into a circus; it’s joyful, happy and fun and the audience engages with the concept throughout.
CUT, by Hwa Wei-An is rooted in manliness and coolness. Making use of clear-cut unison, this male duet unfolds into a fight, using martial arts-like material depicting frustrations. Testosterone is high in this performance, but one can’t help wonder what it would be like to use female dancers to antagonize the ‘cool’ premise of the work? The humor is palpable in the less exquisite and challenging dance moments, it’s in the small details that the piece becomes more human and interesting, the aftermath of the dangerous and complicated partner work, jumps and summersaults.
Closing the program we are delighted with a fully finished dance work. FOCUS immerses the audience as voyeurs from the outset. This is the kind of work that will benefit from being watched in a traditional theatre setting where perspective becomes fundamental for one to understand the choreography.
The material is aggressive, precise and dominant with the female dancers. It’s refreshing to see the audience’s eyes closing into small details such as solos and zooming-out to the scale of the dance in a much wider perspective immediately after. The choreography guides one’s gaze on stage, telling exactly where to look and precisely what to look for. A solo is perpetual on stage, though is performed by different dancers, and the audience can actually see the dance material travelling through this one ever-changing performer, expanding into larger pieces of definite and mesmerizing dance. FOCUS, however, seems to have two different endings and this dance piece would benefit from a firm and explicit ending epitomizing the dominant precision of the dance material.