TasDance: hypermobile finess

Diana Klaosen

Trisha Dunn, Mad Sky

Trisha Dunn, Mad Sky

Trisha Dunn, Mad Sky

In HYPER_mobile, a recent TasDance highlight, artistic director Annie Greig presented the work of 4 important young choreographers, including 2 locally based artists, Michael O’Donoghue and Fiona Reilly, working with an augmented company of 7 dancers. Linking the 4 short works was the hypermobility of the dancers’ bodies, choreographed distinctively and with panache.

HYPER_mobile opens with Lucy Guerin’s Gift, initially commissioned for a Chunky Move presentation at a Melbourne dance club. The 5 dancers are clad, or decorated, in cellophane. The wrapping and unwrapping of this bright, shiny but ultimately ephemeral material, accompanied by energetic group and solo movement (to eclectic music), clearly speaks of “image”, the “packaging and commodification of the body” as the program puts it. There is also some intriguing use of gaffer tape as the male dancer is temporarily immobilised. Simple elements used to great effect and a sustained, unbridled energy level make Gift an infectious work.

Mad Sky, choreographed by Anna Smith in collaboration with the 7 dancers, explores “underlying tensions creating a whirlwind of electric energy before the point of downpour”—a black-costumed, dimly lit beginning where working in pairs, then groups, the dancers use running, floorwork and falling sideways onstage from the wings to capture the ambience of an imminent thunderstorm—a sudden end neatly evokes the unpredictability of the storm’s arrival.

In Michael O’Donoghue’s exotic and successful counterpoint, Fantasy Masquerade, 2 pairs of dancers (with the occasional nod to classical, Spanish and ballroom dance) convey many changes of mood and music as the subtexts and implications of a fancy dress ball are accurately explored. In Fiona Reilly’s Nursery Mimes, the dancers, dressed as toys and dolls, are made tiny by an oversized bed and props. An acrobatic performance with slapstick antics and the odd sad moment make for a satisfying evocation of childhood fantasy.

HYPER_mobile, TasDance, choreographers Lucy Guerin, Anna Smith, Michael O’Donoghue, Fiona Reilly, performers Tara Bollard, Joel Corpuz, Trisha Dunn, Lisa Griffiths, Leanne Mason, Kirstie McCracken, Ryan Mortimer; Earl Arts Centre, Launceston, November 9-11; Collegiate Performing Arts Centre, Hobart, November 16-18

RealTime issue #41 Feb-March 2001 pg. 28

© Di Klaosen; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 February 2001