Choreographed by Ruth Osborne, Jamie Winbank, Jake Kuzma, Alison Plevey
Theatre 3, 17-18 October 2014
Review by Len Power 18 October 2014
47 dancers aged 8 – 18 from Canberra and surrounding areas came together last week to perform ‘For The Win’, the 2014 QL2 project for young dancers. This year’s work, according to Artistic Director, Ruth Osborne:
‘explored the ideas of winning and competition; looking at what qualities are evident in being a winner and whether winning is the aim anyway. The project gives young dancers an introduction to working with a choreographer and moving beyond “just learning the steps”. It includes thinking about concepts and emotions, creating new movement through improvisation and tasks, selecting and refining the most effective movement ideas and rehearsing until it all flows’.
There were seven items on the program that segued cleverly from one to the next. Four of the items were choreographed individually while another had two choreographers and the large opening and closing items were realized by all four choreographers, Ruth Osborne, Jamie Winbank, Jake Kuzma and Alison Plevey.
The clarity of the purpose of each item was impressive. The opening item was exciting with all 47 dancers onstage together. The shift of focus from one grouping to another was well handled and the dancing was precise and joyful. Smaller groups performed the next five items which were a good showcase for the individual choreographers. Jamie Winbank’s choreography for, ‘A winner is someone who wins’ was very clear in its intent with an atmospheric use of voice overs to accompany the dance. ‘All aboard the loser express’, choreographed by Jake Kuzma produced a strong sense of melancholy and the choice of music to accompany the dance was excellent. ‘Mind Games’ by Alison Plevey was probably the most difficult concept to put across but her creativity and clear purpose made this a particularly memorable item. The next item, ‘A win for the girls’, choreographed by Alison Plevey and Jamie Winbank, was outstanding – a clever concept around empowerment for women and it was imaginatively staged. ‘Wintendo’, choreographed by Jake Kuzma, was inventive and humorous with a clever and creative use of hand-held lights to enhance the action. The finale, ‘The Finish Line’, was a rousing climax for the whole performance.
The confident young dancers displayed an enormously infectious enthusiasm. In the big items, it was exciting see all 47 performers onstage together moving with precision and looking like they’re enjoying every minute of it. I can imagine some parents going along dutifully to see their child perform and coming away delighted that they have seen something very special!
Originally broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 ‘Dress Circle’ showbiz program with Bill Stephens on Sunday 26 October 2014 from 5pm.