QL2 Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre to 24 November
Reviewed by Len Power 23 November 2019
As each year draws to a close, one of the highlights of this time of year is QL2 Dance’s annual "Hot To Trot" evening of dance. Presenting a set of new short contemporary dance works, it’s an opportunity for young dancers from QL2’s Quantum Leap ensemble to try their choreographic wings for the first time.
According to artistic director, Ruth Osborne, “Hot to Trot is an important starting point in the development of choreographic practice and leadership potential. They are working hard to create meaningful contemporary dance — beyond just doing moves or steps to music, and really engaging some of the processes they have been part of when they have been in our Quantum Leap project. The content will be all their own.”
This year, seven works were on show – five live dance works and two on film.
The first item was a filmed dance called “Lens”, produced and choreographed by Hollie Knowles. An exploration of how we perceive dance is changed through film, it was a clever work marrying dance with filmic techniques. Particularly exciting were the camera tracking shots that gave the disorienting effect of the room moving around the dancers.
A second film followed called “We’ll See How Long That Lasts”, produced and choreographed by Christopher Wade. Focussing on the contrast between the joy of dancing and the negativity often encountered by young male dancers from their peers, it was a sensitive and perceptive work very nicely realized.
“Decisions” was performed live by Penny Amoore and Danny Riley who also choreographed the work. Essentially about decisions and how we make them, it was an emotionally charged work with a lot to say about how our decisions affect each other. Its intention was clear and very well danced.
Sarah Long’s “Citrus Limon” was a clever and amusing concept about the existence of things – an object, idea or thought. The use of music in this work was especially striking, especially the Gershwin piece. Well-danced throughout, the very funny finale was a delight.
“Outside The Box”, choreographed by Danny Riley was an energetic and imaginative work about career choice and stepping outside your comfort zone. This work demanded strong trust in each other by the dancers who performed it very well right up to its clever ending.
Amalia Socha and Ela Parsons choreographed and danced a work called “Behind the Rack”. Exploring both sides of the fashion industry – the glamour of wearing beautiful clothes and the sweatshop worker who makes them, this work had a strong narrative and was finely danced, making its point very clearly.
The final work presented, “Bus Stop”, was choreographed by Jeff Chudleigh and focussed on the different types of people who wait at bus stops. It was a colourful and enjoyable work, amusing and cleverly chaotic.
The dancers in all of the works presented performed with confidence and skill. There were moments of great beauty and the performers enjoyment of the dance was plain to see. The music choices for the dances added a lot to the atmosphere.
This was a memorable and exciting evening of dance by Canberra’s up and coming choreographers. I look forward to next year’s show!
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on the Artsound FM 92.7 ‘In the Foyer’ program on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3.30pm.