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Review - 4 Seasons: Triple Bill: a breathtaking production

June 16, 2018

 

4 Seasons

 

4 Seasons: Triple Bill

Expressions dance Company (EDC) and Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC)

Choreographers: Natalie Weir, Dominic Wong and Kristina Chan

Playhouse Theatre

Queensland Performing Arts Centre

South Bank

Brisbane

 

Season: June 14-22: Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or 136 246

 

This triumphant triple bill won rapturous applause at its opening in Brisbane as the mix of dancers and choreographers from Hong Kong and Brisbane combined to create three performances intertwined by the title and yet so totally different in delivery. There were 20 dancers, six from EDC and 14 from CCDC.

Each episode told a story and each story was easy to follow in the performance.

The opening piece was Summer, created by Kristina Chan and danced by CCDC. It was a dark and forbidding look at a future dominated by global warming and a summer where humanity was roasting under a blazing sun or being blasted by the fury of monster storms.

Dim lighting, doom-laden music, and much slow motion dancing showed the effects of the heat and humidly, wilting bodies, breath coming in gasps as the dancers, all darkly clad, suffered under the relentless blast of a sun cleverly represented here as a menacing orange curtain that billowed as it slowly dropped from on high to finally envelope the struggling people.

As an audience we saw and felt the fear and hopelessness of this future and the timely message being sent to today’s world. It was a depressing thought.

It was apocalyptic choreography, difficult at times but brilliantly executed by very talented troupe.

Dominic Wong’s Day After Day was a complete change of mood, with energetic and frenetic moves as the acrobatic dancers, dressed in modern street gear, leapt, lifted, swung, and tossed around their ever-moving partners. It was a magnificent display of contemporary dance from a highly skilled and honed troupe.

The choreography was about changing seasons not only climatically but in human emotions as well, with sad departures and happy reunions but all the time positive and vibrant as it slickly switched moods to an amalgam of electronic sounds that suited the mood of the piece perfectly.

And as an added piece of choreographic brilliant Bruce Wong, dimly lit in the background, walked around the fast-moving action in staggering slow motion, along the back of the stage down the side to the front. It was a perfect counterpoint to the rest of the dance. The physical discipline needed for such a feat would have been phenomenal let alone the timing of the steps. Top marks for this.

After interval it was time for Natalie Weir’s 4 Seasons, danced to Max Richter’s recomposed version of Vivaldi’s best known composition. It’s not the Four Seasons we know, that was for sure.

I never fail to be impressed with Natalie Weir’s work; she blends the classical feel with contemporary dance magically. This was no exception and we saw the EDC six at their best.

It was four seasons of human life, where four couples danced through the seasons of life together from tempestuous spring to the darkness and old age of winter, together, or in groups. The lifting and leaping and the many pirouettes called for heaps of energy and precision movement from the group. It was dance that needed strength, stamina, and trust and that is what we got. It was a breathtaking production from the clever classic line costumes worn by the women in four different colours to some unbelievable tumbling and acrobatics

 It moved so quickly and was so absorbing that it seemed to be over almost before it began but it was a satisfying and life affirming journey.

 Summer

 Day aafter Day

 

 

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