|"Metal Park" choreographed by Melanie Lane
by Melanie Park, Cadi McCarthy and Stephen and Lilah Gow.
Adam Ventoura, Christopher Clark, Zackari Watt.
designed by Cate Clelland – Lighting designed by Mark Dyson.
Theatre Centre Playhouse 26th - 28th May.
varies from other dance companies in that its works are always created around
social issues of concern to its young participants. The dancers are encouraged to study the
issues and contribute ideas on how their thoughts can be expressed in dance
Professional choreographers work with the
dancers to translate these ideas into cohesive ensemble dance works, thereby
giving the young dancers invaluable insights into the process of dance
has been nurtured by Artistic Director, Ruth Osborne, who for the last 23 years
has surrounded her dancers with professional choreographers, designers and
composers to bring those ideas to fruition.
for this year’s presentation is “Terra Firma”, a triple bill of three separate
dance works examining concepts of solid ground in an ever- changing world. The
works were created under particularly difficult conditions as a result of the
Covid pandemic, with dancers having to rehearse in masks, and in some cases via
Zoom. None of which is evident in the three powerful works which make up the
program, which were danced with extraordinary commitment and precision by the
25 dancers involved.
|"Metal Park" choreographed by Melanie Lane.
explored materialism through the relationship between body, objects and our
built environment with her work “Metal Park”. It commenced with the dancers
grouped in a striking, dimly lit tableau. As the tableau unfolded four large
black objects emerged which were revealed as black garbage suggesting waste.
an atmospheric score by Christopher Clark which featured repeated harsh
metallic sounds, the busy dancers, costumed in shades of grey, white and black,
moved between mechanical unison movement, groupings in which they strained against
each other and acrobatic tableau’s, various household items and long rods to
create a powerfully conceived and performed evocation of modern society.
|" Shifting Ground" choreographed by Cadi McCarthy.
McCarthy, with her work, “Shifting Ground” which was performed to a dramatic
soundscape composed by Zackari Watt , called on her dancers to explore the
shifting environmental, political, social and emotional terrains in which they
work, which included four visiting dancers from McCarthy’s own Newcastle youth
dance ensemble, Flipside, McCarthy employed a fascinating movement repertoire
which required the dancers, costumed in attractive rust and black costumes, to
break into two groups to perform complex unison movement to protect their
domains, before appearing to reject overtures of intimacy and finally ending
with a prostrate figure alone on the stage.
|'Tides of Time" choreographed by Stephen and Lilah Gow.
work “Tides of Time” by husband and wife choreographers, Stephen and Lilah Gow,
explored notions of time, questioning ideas of present, past and future.
Working to Adam Ventoura’s compelling soundscape, the work commenced with a
stunning filmed sequence by Wildbear Digital in which the dancers seemed to
float through blackness until revealed on stage in striking crimson costumes
where they competed for the use of an imaginary mirror.
As the work
progressed the black background was replaced by beautiful watery images through
which the dancers appeared to float. “Tides of Time” is a beautifully
choreographed, visually striking work which proved the perfect finale for a memorable
evening of challenging, superbly performed new works. For which Cate Clelland’s
excellent costumes and Mark Dysons dramatic lighting were outstanding
The icing on
the cake was a triumphant series of cleverly choreographed bows, the work of
Artistic Director, Ruth Osborne, which paid homage to each of the works by
repeating a snippet from each work performed from the various casts who
aspect superbly produced and performed “Terra Firma” is an outstanding superb
example of why QL2 Dance is so admired as the nation’s leading youth dance
Images by LORNA SIM
This review first published in the digital edition of CITY NEWS on 27.05.22