Artistic Director: Ruth Osborne
The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre to 11 August
Reviewed by Len Power 9 August 2018
QL2 Dance, which commenced as Quantum Leap in 1999, has developed a national and international reputation in contemporary youth dance practice. In 20 years, over 50 commissioned choreographers have worked collaboratively with groups of Quantum Leapers to create 20 original contemporary mainstage productions with original music.
This program at the Playhouse, ‘Two Zero’, is a celebration of 20 years of Quantum Leap – the dancers, choreographers and everyone associated with the programs who make them happen. It takes a look back with excerpts from previous works, acknowledging all of the young artists who have come before. The program also looks forward, presenting new works from choreographers who are amongst Quantum Leap’s alumni.
In one continuous performance in eight sections with different choreographers, three of the sections have been remounted from past Quantum Leap projects.
It begins with a clever transition from film of the original 2013 ensemble to the current ensemble who then perform a remounting of ‘Where We Gather’ by choreographer, Daniel Riley. Nicely remounted by Dean Cross, it explores indigenous and non-indigenous people working together. Its theme was clearly and beautifully danced by the ensemble, creating a vivid picture of harmony between people.
The other sections were notable in the imagination used by the choreographers. While every section was well staged with fine dancing by all involved, I particularly enjoyed ‘The Living Sky’ which was originally choreographed by Fiona Malone and re-imagined for this production by Alison Plevey and Ruth Osborne, and ‘Bigger’, a new work by Eliza Sanders about women’s influence. It was clever in its use of magnifying glass and the dancing had a particularly striking lyrical and wistful quality.
The finale, ‘Celebrate’, was a showstopper. The enthusiasm and joy of these dancers was infectious and when past alumni joined them onstage at the end, it was especially exciting.
QL2 Dance’s annual mainstage productions are always great to look forward to and this year’s celebration was the most memorable of all.
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in his ‘On Stage’ performing arts radio program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3.30pm on Artsound FM 92.7.