Friday, May 19, 2023



QL2 Dance

Artistic Director: Ruth Osborn

Choreographers: Alice Lee Holland, Kyall Shanks, Lordfai Navinda Pachimsawat and Ruth Osborne

The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre to 20 May


Reviewed by Len Power 18 May 2023


With the many ways that humans communicate in this world, QL2 Dance’s concert promised to be an exciting evening full of imaginative choreography.

This year, the Quantum Leap ensemble was made up of 28 dancers aged 13 – 23 with 8 visiting dancers from Bangkok Dance Academy, Thailand.  All of the choreographers collaborated with their dancers to produce their works.

The first work, ‘Holding Space’, was choreographed by Alice Lee Holland.  The dance focussed on a major communication problem – listening to reply rather than listening to understand.  This work showed people interacting in a group but there was an edginess in their movements and a sense of difficulty in understanding, leading to isolation.  Individual dancers showed the effect on them of not communicating effectively with other group members.  This dance work was clear in its intention and the dancers performed the, at times, intricate choreography very well.

The next work, Echo Chamber, was choreographed by Kyall Shanks.  This work looked deeply into a communication problem where the desire for uniformity and being part of a group can stifle individual viewpoints, subjectivity and interpretation.  Again, the intention was clearly shown in the work and there was some beautifully realized unison dancing by groups as well as individual work that showed great physical control and technique.

The third work presented was ‘Shared Language’.  This item was in three sections.  The first part was danced by the visiting 8 Thai dancers with choreography by Lordfai Navinda Pachimsawat and music by Kevin Inthawong.  It showed our smallness in the universe and how as people we come together in unity with individuality and togetherness.  This atmospheric and beautifully dream-like work was danced with great skill and had an appealing tenderness and kindness about it.

The second part was choreographed by Ruth Osborne and depicted the dangers of false communication where knowledge is seemingly available at our fingertips but some things need to be lived to be truly understood.  This work showed the dancers working with great agility. Their changing patterns mirrored the unsettled emotions experienced as we realize our easy access to knowledge can result in a lack of real life experience.

The final part of this work was choreographed by both Ruth Osborne and Lordfai Navinda Pachimsawat.  In this work, the Thai dancers joined the QL2 performers to show that different cultures can find a way to communicate successfully, resulting in a richness and a deeper understanding of similarities and differences.  There was a real sense of joy in this work and the dancing was both exciting and very well executed.

Adam Ventura’s music was a major atmospheric asset for this concert.  The film that added an important extra dimension to the final part of the work was produced by Wildbear Digital.  The effectively moody lighting design was by Anthony Hateley.

The final curtain call dance had all dancers together on stage displaying an exciting exuberance as well as skill that really showed their love of this art form.  That emotion was clearly ‘communicated’ to the thrilled audience.


Photos by Lorna Sim

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at