|Holly Diggle, Janine Proost, Alison Plevey, noplace, ql2|
photo Christiane Nowak
I am not convinced the creative team explored this distress so much as the idea of moving from conscious through to unconscious states—a ‘space in-between’; nonetheless the ironies of moving bodies representing such a ‘no place’ is sufficient meat for a performance investigation.
The co-creators asked their audience to enter and walk over the stage area, beneath a suspended set like a cat’s cradle or incomplete geodesic canopy strung above our heads. We were then asked to sit in conservative figuration on raked seats. It was disappointing to remain neither re-configured, nor left to trust that conventional audience-performer relations might be overcome by means other than surround-sound or surround-design. But this could have been due to the short rehearsal time.
|Alison Plevey, Amelia McQueen, Holly Diggle, noplace, ql2|
photo Sarah Kaur
Christiane Nowak’s design remains, for me, the most resolved aspect of the presentation—consistent to itself but also with a strong hold on what the piece is moving toward. Overall, however, I miss a sense of internal consistency between the sound, movement and visual elements explored.
The fragmentary structure suits an investigation into the subconscious, but in general dancers’ movements, and their vocal delivery, suffer from too much coherence and flow. It takes a while for discombobulation to infect or inflect their offers. Memorably, Amelia McQueen’s performance is both muscular (coherent) and fragmented (brittle). Her miked vocal work, however, reveals beautiful but too-coherent texts and highlights the frequent inaudibility of other dancers’ words. Shoeb Ahmad’s soundscape, partly created in real time, is appropriately fractured but homogenous in volume and tone.
photo Christiane Nowak
At this stage of development, noplace sets up an intriguing quandary: how to heighten the discombobulations of the hypnogogic state into a more consistent whole. There is evidence that with more creative development time these skilled artists will find what they are moving towards.
QL2 Dance Theatre, noplace, choreographer Adelina Larsson, performers Amelia McQueen, Holly Diggle, Alison Plevey, Janine Proost, designer Christiane Nowak, video artist Sarah Tamara Kaur, sound artist Shoeb Ahmad, JUMP mentor Samuel James, dramaturgical consultancy Paschal Berry, Gorman House, Canberra, June 9, 10
RealTime issue #110 Aug-Sept 2012 pg. web
© Zsuzsanna Soboslay; for permission to reproduce apply to email@example.com