Keir Choreographic Award ★★★½
Carriageworks, June 23
If you go to this program of four new works expecting to see dance, you will be surprised. There is barely a dance step in sight. But the combination of imagination with movement and musical skills add up to an engrossing couple of hours.
Each of the choreographers has written a thoughtful and complex program note about their concept of the work. While it is not always easy to match what we see to what is written, each inspires and holds the mind of the viewer in its own way.
Rebecca Jensen opens the program with Slip, in which she plays with time, with the help of a colleague contributing live sound. Starting in a graceful long dress from years gone by, Jensen sits centre stage to delve into a modern backpack, pull out a packet of crisps and chomp them noisily – a sound amplified through film’s Foley technique by her colleague, Aviva Endean.
The elegant gown is slipped off with the assistance of an audience member in the front row, who unzips it, and in current practice gear, Jensen demonstrates a graceful gesture towards choreography and her approach to time and space before the two of them slip into luminous gloves and continue in darkness that gives us only their hands to look at – and enjoy.
Lucky Lartey’s Exoticism, performed with Vishnu Arunasalam, doesn’t live up to the promise of the title or the nice idea of taping a vision of a body on a board and posing to match it.
Two finely tuned male dancers moving arms and torsos as they stand in silhouette make a promising start, but the development doesn’t happen.