Bonnie Curtis Projects have just brought us TRIPELPUNKT their latest production at Annandale Creative Arts Centre. It is a triple bill which includes a reworked version of Girls Girls Girls which was premiered last year.
Is This Making Scents?, the haunting and hypnotic opening work , choreographed by Kara Peake, is an exploration into the effects that scent can have on the mind and body. It has a cast of four who are on stage and already in action as we enter. The church like atmosphere of the venue is retained – two rows of candles create an aisle, the audience is in chairs or cushions either side. It begins in silence with the quartet of dancers on the bare stage curling /unfolding their arms like meditative priestesses of some ancient ritual .
The dancers are in flared black trousers with side splits and wear green tops. Peake’s choreography ebbs and flows, with sinuous entwinings and a sculptural line. At one point the dancers engage the audience by scattering rose petals.There are sculptural held balances and intriguing partnering ( the quartet split into two pairs , sometimes mirroring the choreography in unison ) and rolling floorwork. There are some demanding lifts and intriguing partnering and a sense that one of the four is an outsider who has become transformed. Very effective use is made of shadows.
Next came Vogelsang created by Bonnie Curtis with a barefoot cast of nine. It pupports to examine how females connect/disconnect with their bodies, other bodies and the space around them? How does the process of a lead to the destruction and transformation of this connection/disconnection? The relationships between bodies and space form, evolve, disintegrate and transform .
The cast wore black leggings with green , blue , white or black tops . At some points there was fascinating use of shadows and the lighting was most atmospheric at one point a glorious orange -gold wash . Choreographically the work was demanding and included ensemble sculptural writhing , slow elegant falls , balletic crossed hands ,difficult lifts and interweaving duos and trios .
After interval came the reworked version of Girls Girls Girls , which explores the experiences of modern Australian women, parading their deepest, darkest thoughts and insecurities on stage. While providing a detailed intimate and personal experience, the lines between audience and performer are blurred as the work examines body image and self worth of women today.
Our MC was Melinda Penna . As we took our seats in the reconfigured space, the audience discovered the cast in assorted positions in the auditorium and were invited to drape them in various items as found in bags at the entrance. The cast became animated soft sculptures, with scarves, glasses, hats , a horse head mask and other assorted elements of clothing . Under all this the cast wore pink long sleeve tops, pink stockings with garters and short shiny purple skirts. Completing the ensemble were frilly underwear and a pink jewelled collar.
The cast eventually rose and moved onstage in slo mo, to pulsating throbbing electric ‘underwater’ music, removing most of the items which the audience had draped them with.A sequence followed on the allure of the hidden with a sinuous, exotic duet. Four dancers are ‘caught’ in an overlay of pink stretchy fabric and have rolling floorwork . They are haunted by what seems to be a bride who has been driven from the group , her oversized tissue becoming the veil of her outfit cloaking her costume.
Other highlights included Kara Peake, wearing a doll like mask, in a solo commenting on body image where she frantically blew up balloons as breast implants ( to ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ by Edvard Grieg ) which was then followed by the other dancers doing the same – to ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ ( If You Go Away)’ , the balloons at times like cigarettes .
This led to a mock fashion shoot with photographer, people holding fans, dancers taking selfies etc …which culminated in the return of our emcee and the ‘ beauty pageant’ section with each of the dancers in character ( for example a surfer babe ,a vegan) answering various questions.
The evening concluded with the winner of the lucky door prize raffle being ‘married’ by Penna to one of the contestants and then, to an edited version of Satisfaction by Benny Benassi, a brash cheeky, sexy, strutting finale where the dancers posed in tableaux at the end unhappily pulling at their bare midriffs implying that they consider they are too fat- which they are not!