‘Touch’, choreographed by Alison Plevey, Olivia Fyfe and Ryan Stone
‘Sympathetic Monsters’ choreographed by Jack Ziesing
Canberra College Theatre to 18 October (live performances are sold out)
Streaming online 23 October –see QL2 website for details
Reviewed by Len Power 15 October 2020
For their first project post-lockdown, QL2 Dance presented ‘Leap into Chaos’, a double bill with the Chaos project, ‘Touch’, as the first half of the program and the Quantum Leap ensemble project, ‘Sympathetic Monsters’, as the second half.
‘Leap into Chaos’ is their response to the chaotic world we have been thrown into this year.
‘Touch’, choreographed by Alison Plevey, Olivia Fyfe and Ryan Stone explores our profound need for touch as an expression of communication as human beings. Presented in seven sections, 53 dancers aged 8 to 19, gave us a thoughtful, dynamic and very colourful experience covering all aspects of touch, as well as the lack of it, in these unusual times.
The choreography was clear in its intentions and it was performed very well by every member of the troupe of dancers. Especially memorable was the sequence in which the dancers wore dark clothing with white masks to signify the coming of the pandemic. The use of shadows in this section was chilling and inspired.
Some sequences had a dreamlike, memory quality as if remembering good times past and to come and the joyously energetic finale was full of optimism.
The second half of the double bill, ‘Sympathetic Monsters’, was choreographed by Jack Ziesing and presented by the Quantum Leap ensemble. Inspired by the book, ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan, it looked at the fear of the unknown that makes us see monsters where there are differences and uniqueness that bring balance and beauty to the world.
Ziesing’s choreography made strong demands on the dancers but every dancer showed that they had the skill and talent required to successfully present this choreographer’s vision. It was stark and moody and required exceptional balance and control by the dancers especially in the slower-paced sequences. Expressive hand and arm movement was a feature of this work, cleverly symbolising inner fears and nightmares.
Both works were accompanied by excellent atmospheric music scores by Adam Ventoura and the lighting design by Craig Dear of Sidestage was creative and well-executed. There were fine costume designs by Ruth Osborne, Natalie Wade and the choreographers for ‘Touch’ and Cate Clelland for ‘Sympathetic Monsters’.
QL2 Dance have given us a strong program full of atmosphere with issues to make you think and the pleasure of watching fine young dancers of all ages performing their craft with enthusiasm and skill.
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on the Artsound FM 92.7 ‘In the Foyer’ program on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3.30pm.
‘Theatre of Power’, a regular podcast on Canberra’s performing arts scene with Len Power, can be heard on Spotify, ITunes and other selected platforms or at https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/theatre-of-power.