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Dance Massive 2009


 Da Contents H2

dance massive
March 15 2009
knowing pop
carl nilsson-polias: luke george, lifesize

March 14 2009
ensemble power
carl nilsson-polias: rogue: a volume problem, the counting, puck


simultaneities
virginia baxter: rogue: a volume problem, the counting, puck

March 13 2009
inner-scapes
carl nilsson-polias: splintergroup, lawn

March 12 2009
nothing hidden, much gained
carl nilsson-polias: lucy guerin inc, untrained

dance massive
reality dance
keith gallasch: lucy guerin inc, untrained


talking australian dance internationally
virginia baxter: ausdance, international dance massive delegation day

dance massive
March 11 2009
18 minutes in another town
virginia baxter: helen herbertson & ben cobham, morphia series


dancing the cosmic murmur
jana perkovic: shelley lasica, vianne

March 10 2009
dance party art
keith gallasch: 180 seconds in (disco) heaven or in hell

March 10 2009
passing strange
keith gallasch: jo lloyd's melbourne spawned a monster

dance massive
March 9 2009
horror stretch
jana perkovic: splintergroup, roadkill


March 8 2009
in bed with a mortal engine
keith gallasch: chunky move's mortal engine

limina, or saying yes to no
jana perkovic: michaela pegum, limina; and the fondue set

who’s zooming who?
virginia baxter: chunky move, mortal engine

March 7 2009
rabbits down the hole
tony reck: the fondue set's no success like failure

suspending the audience
keith gallasch: splintergroup in roadkill

the return of the super-marionette
jana perkovic: chunky move's mortal engine

words for the time being
virginia baxter: russell dumas, huit à huit—dance for the time being

March 5 2009
lateral intimacies
jana perkovic: shannon bott & simon ellis' inert

March 3 2009
after glow
keith gallasch talks with chunky move’s gideon obarzanek

critical mass
virginia baxter: melbourne’s dance massive

engineering the arts
kate warren talks with arts problem solver frieder weiss

nothing to lose
keith gallasch: the fondue set’s no success like failure

worlds within
philipa rothfield: shelley lasica’s vianne

 

BEFORE A NIGHT-TIME CITYSCAPE, A LONE MAN GESTICULATES ODDLY, POSSIBLY FROM A LEDGE HIGH ABOVE THE STREETS, MOMENTARILY PEERING DOWN AT US FROM THE VERY FRONT OF THE STAGE, AS IF DIMLY REGISTERING WITNESSES TO HIS OBSESSIVE DANCE. HE IS A MAN PROFOUNDLY POSSESSED, MAKING NEAT AND LATER TORTUOUS GEOMETRIES FROM HIS BODY BEFORE HE ABJECTLY AND CONVULSIVELY COLLAPSES, ONLY TO REVIVE AND RE-FORM THEN SINK ONCE AGAIN, AS THE CITY LIGHTS FADE.

The non-literal arc of this decidedly strange passing is preceded by the sound of tennis balls bouncing off the wall in the dark followed by a brief glimpse of the man at play. In the dark, and against a mini rendering of a skyline, he suggests a hometown King Kong bouncing balls off buildings. But then, it's as if he's stopped, turned around and seen the city, been taken with it (or some other compulsion) and now measures himself against it. Facing us straight on, feet placed well apart, a knee bent, a hand at hip, he sways, calmly, contentedly in synch with the tolling bell, fast click and increasingly ominous thump of the sound score. He raises an arm over his head, the sway turns to swing. Thin strands of coloured lights glow or, alternatively, dim as he passes. Perhaps he believes this magic is his. Sustaining his strange composure and the gait that edges him back and forth across the front of the stage, but now gazing up, he raises his arms grandly as if to embrace or emulate the height of a skyscraper or the vastness of the sky.

Soon, other emotions flicker as arms briefly scissor across an expressionless face, as legs kick out with involuntary force, as the strange swaying strut accelerates upstage, as hands clutch from front and back beneath the crotch, and an angry, frustrated body decends to the floor, lurching with the last of its life force. Collapse is followed by gradual revival and recovery of the monster's odd, stiff dance, if lacking its initial energy. Some kind of psychological implosion appears to have done its physical damage and the creature winds down, a bright light elegaically playing across the declining body like a lighthouse beam or indifferent car headlights pulsing through the city.

Melbourne Spawned a Monster is a decidedly strange if not althogether satisfactory work, with the kind of vaguely suggestive narrative you have when you're not getting the one the title promises. Does Melbourne, "epicentre of Australian dance" (as proclaimed during Dance Massive), in fact spawn monsters of impossible ambition and inevitable defeat? Originally performed by the choreographer, Jo Lloyd, here the work is effectively realised by Luke George, his downstage, mechanical two-dimensional cut-out becoming an upstage three dimensional image of anguished malfunction.


Melbourne Spawned a Monster, choreographer, director Jo Lloyd, performer Luke George, music Duane Morrison, design Rob McCredie; Dancehouse, Sunday 7-8; Dance Massive, Melbourne, March 3-15

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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