Freelance writer – creative – media-maker
Melbourne Dance Theatre’s Leviticus promised a night of ‘unique thrilling aerial partnering and amazing virtuoso solos’. What it delivered was a surprisingly typical mixture of contemporary and jazz-ballet. Disappointing as this was, other aspects of the show, as it turned out, sadly proved even more underwhelming.
As its name suggests, Leviticus deals with laws written the third book of the Hebrew Bible, which concerns immoral and sexual desires. The show’s heavy theme contrasted awkwardly with several unintentionally comical moments. One of these involved a bizarre solo in which involved choreographer/dancer Martin Sierra put a black bucket over his head before attempting to clear a completely blacked-out stage, all the while making noises under his breath for no discernible reason.
Technically, the dancers were not up to par. Whilst some were better than others, the overall standard was such that one could be forgiven for thinking that this was an amateur dance school production. More than a few of the dancers seemed unsure of their cues, whilst others danced only vaguely in sync with each other for much of the show, and one dancer even audibly whispered ‘Shit!’ in the middle of the production.
Whilst there were certainly some interesting choreographic passages to be seen, particularly in the show’s partnering sections, these were tragically obscured by clumsy transitions and a lack of attention to detail. However admittedly, this was opening night, so hopefully the dancers will improve in confidence as the season continues.
Perhaps the biggest problem with Leviticus is that it tries so hard to be edgy, eccentric and ‘cool’ that it ultimately fails to be any of these things. If Melbourne Dance Theatre wants to be counted among the cutting-edge, it will need to recognise the difference between trendiness and genuine innovation.
Review as posted in the dance section of the Buzzcuts website : http://www.buzzcuts.com.au