Saturday, December 15, 2012


QL2 Dance - Gorman House
25th November 2012

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

 This is the 14th year QL2 dance has presented “Hot to Trot”.  The "Hot to Trot" program provides the opportunity for young first-time choreographers to undertake a short dance work, under the watchful eye of Ruth Osborne and with the mentorship of Adelina Larsson.

As QL2 Artistic Director,  Ruth Osborne,  explains in her program notes..”These choreographers need to take responsibility for their dancers’ well-being, source costumes and music, consider lighting design, write program notes and work to a timeline to have their piece rehearsed and performance ready in time”.

This year 12 young choreographers stepped up to the challenge, some in collaborations and others alone. They produced 8 short works for a diverting, never-less-than-interesting program.

Each choreographer introduced their work to a packed house in the QL2 studios at Gorman House. The program commenced with one of the more successful works, a playful piece for four dancers, choreographed by Amanda Lee.  Entitled “You May Hate Gravity, But Gravity Doesn’t Care” this work featured delightfully quirky music and colourful costumes. The clever choreography was very well danced by Georgia Holgate, Alice Brown, Darcy Read and Ryan Stone, who had obviously invested a lot of work to polish the gymnastic-based unison sections devised by Lee.

Georgia Crow and Kayla Smurthwaite danced their own collaboration “Derailed”.  Making good use of their attractive dark red split skirts worn over black leotards, which were an integral part of the dance work, “Derailed” was danced to thoughtfully chosen music and featured effective use of unison movement and well-executed floor work.

Using a silent protest by a group of Chilean women as her inspiration, Ashleigh Simpson created a dramatic work for three dancers, Alana Stenning, Portia Lawson and Indigo Trail, entitled “Dancing Alone”. Notable for the lovely open movement of the choreography, this work made good use of narration and dramatic lighting to produce a series of powerful images.

Darcy Read made imaginative use of the windows at the back of the stage in her exquisite little work “Who do You Rely On” which she danced with her brother Simon, and in which she explored sibling relationships using words, well-chosen images and muscular movement to produce a work that was both touching and entertaining.

Tamar Peacock, Amy Peacock and Melissa Markos collaborated on a piece called “Stepping into the Shower”, which they also danced. Utilising a large dance vocabulary, thoughtfully-chosen music and sound effects  and incorporating wet hair in the manner of Meryl Tankard, this piece was interesting but did not really solve, in choreographic terms, the task they had set themselves of producing a work which suggested being in a world of their own in a shower.

For his hip-hop-inspired piece, “Equality Doesn’t Cannot Exist”, Jack Riley incorporated dramatic projections and spoken narration (excellently delivered by Ryan Stone) to produce an arresting and memorable piece. The four dancers, Alex Abbott, Amanda Lee, Darcy Read and Ryan Stone managed the demanding floor work with considerable élan.

Wearing black hoodies, Luke Fryer and Nasim Patel performed their own choreography to present a powerful and effective piece called “Internal/External” exploring teenage angst and how people find ways to avoid contact with each other. While lacking the overall inventiveness of some of the earlier works, it still contained many interesting passages.

Georgia Holgate chose the music of Phillip Glass for her piece, “The Drawn Line”, in which she made intriguing use of net to differentiate spaces in an intriguing work which was excellently danced by Madison Hegarty, Alice Brown, Amanda Lee, Ryan Stone and Nathan Rutups, and which also proved an excellent finale to an evening that was both entertaining and exhilarating.

Following the performance, the dancers and choreographers returned to the stage, with mentor Adelina Larsson, to discuss the process and their works. For dance enthusiasts this  session offered fascinating insights into the process of producing a dance work, in addition to the opportunity to watch young emerging choreographers grapple with the challenge of exploring and discovering a dance vocabulary.