Grace Edwards

Freelance writer – creative – media-maker

Review: Dance Miniature, Melbourne Fringe Festival, ends 10th October

Re-imagining fantasised moments in time, engaging in bizarre encounters with strangers and attempting to capture time as an abstract reality, the emerging artists of Dance Miniature covered a lot of ground in the three short dance pieces that comprised the first of its two sessions. Alternately contemplative, humorous and challenging, this cross-disciplinary contemporary dance exploration proved an excellent example of wonderful art resulting from collaboration and risk taking.

Inspired by the text on Helene Cixous’ The Third Body, Shian Law’s Personal Mythology 1: The Marine Lover, explored the memory of a fantasised experience. Intimate solos from Law and fellow performer Anna Simm created a serene, reflective ambience, beautifully echoed by Tim Hecker’s water like music .Though the venue’s limitations made for some frustrating moments, with several floor work passages tragically obscured by The Warehouse’s floor-to-ceiling columns, the piece’s quiet grace ultimately made this problem of logistics worth overlooking.

Paradise Pop-up was arguably the most disconcerting work, requiring audience members to engage directly each other and dancer Natalie Abbott. Many nervous laughs accompanied the ‘performance’, particularly when the voice of Ben McDonald instructed all present to hug ‘tightly’ the stranger opposite. However, judging by the smiles and wide eyes of those resuming their seats, the thrill of being so integrally involved in the performance was overwhelmingly appreciated. Whilst not for the shy or inhibited, Paradise Pop-up proved a humorous and energising experience.

The final piece of the session, Per/, ambitiously attempted to articulate the relationship between movement and time. The disrupted movements of a dancer were projected onto a series of white boxes, which were then moved around the stage as an artist attempted to capture in charcoal the ever changing outline of the dancer projected onto them. Utilising sound, video, dance and visual art, Per/ is a work of conceptual brilliance, each of the disparate elements combining seamlessly in a genuinely integrated collaboration. The visual impressions captured on the boxes were fascinating in their own right, and the tension in the room was palpable as the dancers frantically moved over the continually evolving dancescape. The exhilarating conclusion was exceedingly gratifying, and marked Per/ out as the highlight of the evening.

Thought-provoking and entertaining, Dance Miniature is a definite must-see of the Fringe, and a tribute to the talents of the young artists involved.

Published in the dance section of Buzzcuts at http://www.buzzcuts.com.au

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This entry was posted on October 6, 2009 by in arts, buzzcuts, dance, dance miniature, Melbourne Fringe, Reviews.
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