Short and Sweet; Company c
The Short and Sweet festival has expanded beyond theatre and cabaret into dance and this week, I saw the Short and Sweet Dance heats at the New Theatre in Newtown. The Company C heats showcased 12 dance performances to a full house. The quality of each performance and the variation from dance to dance had me pleasantly surprised. I did enjoy myself and I think choosing a People’s Choice to go onto the finals this Sunday will be difficult. Personally, I tend to value the performances that are thought-provoking, insightful or they tell me a story. In other cases, the dance itself was enough to captivate me.
- STRING was beautiful and artistic. As a video, it focused on Black and Whites, lighting, movement and the human body. The bio reads that the piece was a collaboration between fashion photographer Konstantin Kochkin and Australian dancer Joseph Simons. The fashion photography element really came through, it was a very beautiful piece.
- TESSELLATE was a contemporary, street art pop piece that told a story, with clever visual aids and elements of hip-hop. Three talented dancers testing the themes of Innocence, Confidence and Maturity.
- WE STEP focused on the lines of the body with the stage washed in golden lights. A contemporary piece exploring themes of birth and exploration, exploration of the body and movement, testing the boundaries of the body. For me, it was memorable and beautiful. A little bit reminiscent of the recent production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre in London. The rebirth of a human, exploring the movements and functions of a body. Oddly stunning.
- NO, I WOULD NEVER was a clever little piece of experimental performance. Blending audio confessions of people, whose initial reactions to various situations are just downright wrong. The sole dancer and choreographer, Hayley Raw, was exceptional in her literal storytelling. The performance seemed to be a collaboration of mime, dance and movement, as she reacted to each tone, nuance, background noise in the audio clips. It was eclectic, esoteric and incredibly memorable.
- SEPTEMBER was a really wonderful dance. Professional use of lighting and costuming made the entire performance rather effective. There wasn’t an underlying story, but the dance was really beautiful to watch. The chorography focused on lines and synchronicity, silhouettes and shadows. It was stunningly visual as all the dancers were connected.
- MAY I PLEASE was a whimsical frivolous look at the pull and grasp of temptation. Incredible use of props and colour, the piece had elements of humour and was very creative. The dancer, Mariana Parazio, gave everything to her performance. It made me question whether the piece was as simple as yearning for an endless supply of jelly beans, or whether it had an underlying message about temptation.
- FROM HERE was fierce look into conformity and rites of passage. It seemed like a blend of contemporary, hip-hop and pop & lock. It effectively told a story as each person became a character and each character contributed to the company. Very effective.
- THE FEAR OF… was a performance about phobias and was to the standard of Rock Eisteddfod. I found it chilling, scary at times and that’s a real testament to the choreography and performers. A special credit to the dancer who opened the piece for really setting the scene. From contemporary dance to high-intensity tap, the performance was symbolic and successful in conveying it’s message.
- VANISHING POINT was symbolic and very artistic. With lots of trust movements, explorations of the self and an awareness of the space, the piece included visuals that were highly effective.
- SALT seemed to me to be a social commentary. Very thought-provoking, this experimental piece was eclectic and very interesting to watch. The choreographers were the dancers and their synchronicity was impressive.
- /LU:P/ was an incredibly clever piece using knowledge of environment, space and connection to the audio track. The dancer/choreographer was exceptional in her fluidity and movement. The synopsis states “a cyclical process that we are always experiencing- within each loop, different information is revealed”. I understood exactly that from the piece.
- SWINGDANCIN’ finished the night with a bang. Vibrant energy and overwhelming enthusiasm had the audience in the palm of their hands. Over thirty dancers on stage performed a blend of classic swing, jazz, hip-hop, Fosse Charleston and the jitterbug. The synchronicity made it a visual spectacular and it was a great way to end the night.
Image source: http://eastsidefm.org/2014/01/shortsweet-festival-and-guerilla-zingari-on-arts-monday-with-margaux-dombkins-20-january-2014/shortsweet-dance-2014-e-flyer-2/