By Eric Scott
Photos by David Kelly
Australasian Dance Collective
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Season: May 26-29. Duration: two hours including two intervals. Bookings: qpac.com.au or 136 246
Amy Hollingsworth’s Australasian Dance Collective is back with a bang with a trio of powerful short works by Jack Lister, Melanie Lane and Hofesh Shechter and performance by six extremely fit, supple and talented dancers. All three productions were dark and moody and performed with the minimum of light, at times in almost total blackout. They were backed by soundtracks that suited the dark mood, and the action was riveting to watch. Credit the mood settings to lighting designer Glen Hughes.
This is the production that was just days away from its April 2020 premiere when it was cancelled because of COVID-19.
All three pieces are premieres, the first two world premieres and the third an Australian premiere.
The opening piece was Melanie Lane’s Alterum. This was a spooky vision filled with robotic cyborgs, comic book superheroes and mythical hybrid creatures who danced in constant, incredible non-stop movement to create a very scary universe way away from ours. The one thing all the creatures had in common is the quest for intimacy. With a blaring AI sound track from Clark that at times invaded the body, it added up to a monumental piece of dance.
After a 20 minute interval – a well-deserved break for the dancers to give them time to cool off – it was time for something gentler: Brisbane’s Jack Lister, fused dance and visual art to create Still Life. The inspiration came from visits to art galleries with the permanent adornments of art works contrasted to the impermanence of dance. The movements were less frenetic and more rhythmic with bodies entwining to create art gallery memories. The music too created a different mood with extracts from the classics. Snatches of sound from the Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major, K. 288:II. Adagio - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; La Sonnambula - Vincenzo Bellini: Prelude, Op. 28 No. 4 and Nocturne 13 in C Minor Op. 48 No. 1 - Frederic Chopin and electronic sounds from Emptyset.
It was a pleasant contrast, gentler, but still exciting to see and equally gripping in the half light.
It was a shorter interval this time, just fifteen minutes, and then it was back to the frenetic.
After rave reviews in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, Queenslanders finally got their chance to see the work of one of the world’s most groundbreaking choreographers, Hofesh Shechter.
Presented in association with Hofesh Shechter Company, ADC performed the Australian premiere of Cult — the work that propelled Shechter into his successful career. It was the first time the Israeli-born, London-based choreographer’s work has been performed in Queensland.
Shechter is inspired by Israeli folk dance, rock gigs, military exercise, nightclubs, installation art and film to create pumping, high energy works that are accompanied by scores that he composes himself. And indeed the whole feeling is that of a smoke-sodden, sweaty atmosphere of an old time night club, with jerky movements, body locking and intense dancing. It was the shortest piece, but it earned the same screaming ovation handed out to the other performances. The audience loved the work. It is a very shot season, so get in fast.
The incredible dancers were Chase Clegg Robinson, Jack Lister, Jag Popham, Josephine Weise, Lonii Garmon-Williams and Tyrel Dulvarie.