CHUNKY MOVE SYDNEY THEATRE
While this is a visually stunning feast with superb dancing I found this work rather overdominated by the musical score. The concept behind the work is the amalgamation of dance (choreography by Gideon Obarzanek) and sculpture. The marvellous sculpture set designed by Reuben Margolin has a spinning wheel and loom like form with cables leading out from it that are suspended in space .( When you first enter you could perhaps imagine it as a set for a very contemporary version of Act 1 of ‘Sleeping Beauty ‘). If a set design can be both light and elegant yet looming and ominous this is it. Once the work has begun one of the dancers at times changes the weights on the suspension. For one section of the performance the dancers are attached to the hanging sculpture and manipulate it, at times seemingly threatened by it, or under it , or inside it. The graph like hanging part of the sculpture seems to breathe, undulate and ripple as it is manipulated – or has its own mind and hovers over the dancers .In the second movement especially , where the dancers are attached to the sculpture , the performers become mathematical formulae link into the grid .
There is a fabulous trio that becomes a magnificent pas de deux where Macindoe seduces and is seduced by Palomeres – chin on shoulder or elbow for example then lots of snaky moves and spiky fingers .
In the second half of the work we have voice overs of transcripts of interviews of art gallery guards about their job of being art gallery security guards at times full of wry humour. The dancers march stiffly around in blocks and do flight attendant like angular movements.
‘Connected’’s rather jarring, crackly and insistent score is by sound artist Robin Fox ( who composed the score for ‘Mortal Engine’ as well )and Oren Ambarchi. It interacts with Benjamin Cisterne’s glorious lighting to create synaesthesia which transforms sound into light- another form of sculpture.
From the opening explosive crash and extraordinary solo by Stephanie Lake there is a series of solos, duets and fleeting trios that are fast, intense, fluid and organic. At times the choreography was based on whirling circles , sometimes it was machinery-like ( reminiscent perhaps of the 1903’s Germans Expressionists?) In the last section there are massive waves of movement.
Is the work about ‘The Art of Seeing ‘ ? Kinetic sculpture? Dancers as images on a computer graph ? (think of ‘Glow’ and ‘Mortal Engine’ here) .Like Wheeldon and Macgregor Obarzanek has long been fascinated by the combination of dance, science and maths . Given the arts gallery security guard voice overs this work could also be read as being ‘about’ ‘what is art ‘.
An at times breathtaking amalgamation of dance and sculpture.
Running time – just under an hour