QL2 Theatre, Gorman House to 13 December
Review by Len Power 12 December 2015
QL2’s annual ‘On Course’ event brings together current dance students from tertiary institutions across Australia and New Zealand to choreograph, collaborate and perform. This is always an event to look forward to as the imagination and skill shown by these young choreographers and dancers is quite enthralling. This year, 13 choreographers presented works. I believe they each have only about 18 hours of studio time over a couple of weeks to develop and polish their work with the QL2 dancers. If that is the case, the results on show are all the more remarkable.
The program commenced with a choreographed film by Alanna Stenning called ‘Soft Flux’ which explored the theme of heat and the various reactions to it and the effects of it. It was interesting from both dance and film editing angles, both of which need a sense of rhythm so important to a choreographer’s work. Alanna’s film created a great atmosphere and showcased her strong skills with this medium.
One of the great things about dance is that audience members will respond differently to elements of particular dances and, while every item in this program was enjoyable and well done, there were some that especially appealed to me.
Jordan Bretherton’s ‘Defining Water’ was stunningly clear in intent from the very beginning. A physical piece relating emotions to the ebb and flow of water, it was nicely realized and beautifully danced as well. Amanda Lee’s solo dance, ‘You don’t have to pretend; You don’t need to pretend’, showcased her excellent gymnastic skills as well as her strong dance skills. It was a moody piece that was very satisfying.
‘Flow’ by Chloe Jane Hambleton paid strong attention to all aspects of production from the dance itself to costumes, lighting and sound and was very successful as a result. A delightfully witty work, ‘All The Authors of Meaning’, by Maddy Towler-Lovell, explored the difficulty in understanding what an artist means. It was funny, very precise in its movement and timing and very well danced.
Ryan Douglas Stone showed especially strong skills in creating atmosphere with his dance, ‘State’. A sense of danger and the threat of violence pervaded this work and there was excellent use of lighting and sound to complement the action. Holly Newsome presented a startling work, ‘This Tan Is Real’ about sincerity, wanting to be loved and trying to be an ideal in some shape or form. Her work required great precision by her dancers and worked brilliantly.
This was a particularly strong program of imaginative, skilful and entertaining dance works. I’m looking forward already to next year’s program.
Len Power’s reviews can also be heard on Artsound FM’s ‘Artcetera’ program from 9.00am on Saturdays.