Presented by QL2 Dance
QL2 Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre
November 21st and 22nd 2015
Reviewed by Bill Stephens
“Hot to Trot” is an annual showcase of new works created by Quantum Leap dancers, for which selected dancers with choreographic ambitions are each provided with the facilities and support necessary to create and produce a contemporary dance work which is then given two performances before a paying audience. The choreographers must choose and train their dancers, source costumes and music, consider lighting design, write program notes and schedule their rehearsals so that their work is delivered on time. After each performance opportunity is provided for audience members to comment and question the choreographers and dancers about the works presented.
Although a polished product is expected, and the choreographic choices and execution is limited by the ability and experience of the young participants, it’s the process that is important, and the results are often startling in their originality and sophistication.
This year the choreographers were inspired by some unlikely topics like atomic forces, fractals, meditation and the refraction of light. How well their works realised these inspirations provided a fascinating program of 10 original dance works.
Among the more successful was a delightful duet called “Ember” danced by the creators, Ruby Ballantyne and Milly Vanzwol, which attempted to explore in dance terms, the different ways light refracts, reflects and absorbs.
An eye-catching dancer, Ballantyne appeared again with Caspar Ilschner and Nasim Patel, in a cheerful little piece by Jason Pearce called “What are You Waiting For” which explored how people move and react while waiting, and in perhaps the most original work of the evening, “9.81 metres per second” choreographed by Ilschner and Jack Clements inspired by contrasting aspects of gravity.
Ursula Taylor composed her own soundscape to accompany her work “Feeding line” for which she used a large wooden cube to explore the interactions of individuals. Walter Wolffs incorporated ropes, plastic toys and silver balls for his playful piece, “Snowflakes” which focussed on the mathematical phenomenon of fractals.
Abstract projections featured in Caroline De Wan’s interesting piece, “Something That’s Not” exploring altered states of consciousness, a topic also explored by Ayla Scholtz with her cleverly fragmented work “Mind over Matter”.
Elyse Lenehan tackled self- image for her work for three dancers, “The Norm?”, while Nasim Patel rounded out the program with his ambitious work “Recess” for which he worked with six dancers to create a playful work focussed on memories of childhood.
Lighting, costume and music choices for each of the works were intelligent and appropriate, and given the limited time available to each choreographer to prepare and rehearse their piece, the standard reached in the execution of the works was impressive.
This review first published in the digital edition of CITY NEWS on 23.11.15