Wednesday, November 27, 2019

HOT TO TROT - 2019

"Bus Stop" choreographed by Jett Chudleigh 

Project Director and Provocateur – Ruth Osborne
Lighting design by: Guy Harding
Presented by QL2 Dance – QL2 Studios – Gorman Art Centre – 23rd, 24th November 2019.

Performance 23rd November reviewed by Bill Stephens

“Hot to Trot” is an annual program, staged by QL2 dance, which provides young budding choreographers with the opportunity to try their hand at choreographing a short work. Having participated in previous QL2  activities, under professional choreographers, the budding choreographers are provided with dancers, studio time and mentors, but must come up with a concept, organise rehearsals, costumes and lighting plot, as well as guide and rehearse their dancers to a short work to be performed for two performances in front of a paying audience.

The program consisted of five staged works, and two short films, “Lens” by Hollie Knowles, and “We’ll see how long that Lasts” by Christopher Wade – both of which demonstrated an admirable  grasp of the possibilities now available with modern technology to produce interesting dance works on film.

The first staged work was entitled “Decisions” for which Danny Riley and Penny Amoore combined talents to choreograph and perform an intense duet, which commenced quietly, then gathered   momentum as they challenged each other in a series of nicely executed unison sections.

Amalia Socha and Ela Parsons also chose to perform their own work, “Behind the Rack”, a thoughtful two-person piece examining the consequences of cheap throwaway fashion, from manufacture to point of consumption.

Sarah Long incorporated lemons, the music of George Gershwin, and shadow play, into an amusing duet for Alexandra Postai and Pippi Keogh entitled, “Citrus Limon”, in which she explored the response of changing emotions, attitudes and feelings when confronted with a new experiences.

Danny Riley’s work, “Outside the Box”, was the most ambitious work of the evening, involving six dancers, himself, Clare Daly, Hannah James, Jett Chudleigh, John Judd and Sofie Nielson. Although how the movement choices represented the theme of career choices was not always clear, the work did contain some inventive group movement, and a particularly interesting section in which dancers responded to puppeteer-like movements.
The most transparent work however was Jett Chudleigh’s “Bus Stop”, performed to an original score by her father, James Chudleigh, depicting the reactions of four travellers stranded at a bus stop.

Stylishly staged under the watchful eye of Ruth Osborne, each work was introduced by the respective choreographers, sensitively lit, with quick, well-managed transitions between  works. At the end of the program, the choreographers and dancers returned to the stage to answer questions from an obviously engaged and interested audience.
To communicate  complex ideas through dance is a daunting task for any choreographer, and  given the ages and experience of this year’s group, all of whom, with one exception, were making their first work, the results, though predictably variable, still provided a diverting evening of interesting dance works for the capacity audience.  But more important is the invaluable opportunity “Hot to Trot” provides the young choreographers and their dancers to explore their ability to create and perform meaningful dance.

                        Photo: Andrew Sikorski (Art Atelier Photography)