Dancenorth, "In Two Minds" -
Brisbane Powerhouse, 26 August -
Dancenorth has been a flurry of activity since Kyle Page took over as artistic director earlier this year, evidenced in part by this four-centre tour of “In Two Minds”, which finished in Brisbane on August 27.
“In Two Minds” comprises two half-hour works separated by a short interval, with Syncing Feeling having premiered earlier this year in Townsville, (see review), again concluding the program.
This duet, both choreographed and danced by Page and Dancenorth artistic assistant, Amber Haines, is an intimate exploration of aspects of the human mind, including empathy, imitation learning and the decoding of another’s actions, feelings and emotions.
Underpinned by research into theories such as metacognition and theory of mind, and enriched by Alisdair Macindoe’s especially commissioned soundscape, Syncing Feeling, has been fine-tuned into a beautifully fluid, almost weightless construction. The dancers displayed effortless synchronicity of movement and seamlessly executed lifts.
The versatile Macindoe’s A Pre-Emptive Requiem for Mother Nature was a visually striking opening work. Performed in its entirety behind a scrim, this enquiry into the “magic of the organic world” at times delivers exquisite imagery, cleverly conceived.
A grouping of four dancers (Harrison Hall, Mason Kelly, Jenni Large and Ashley McLellan) edges, en masse, at floor level, across the stage from left to right with restrained and sequentially performed indications of the upper body and arms.
Each individual’s controlled stop/start movement, looking deceptively effortless on this occasion, gradually brings them to a standing position, while abstracted projections of the dancers merge with their actual forms on stage, creating a wonderful, moving three dimensional scape.
One evocative sequence sees the tightly grouped dancers weave in unison like seaweed in a current of water, perhaps. Feet planted firmly on the ground, the movement, initiated by the hips, streams fluidly into the upper torso and arms.
A middle section is less engaging, with the dancers paired, (one pair perplexingly not lit), and backed by a large circular pattern of lights. Here the movement construct moves into a more generic contemporary style with minimal contact or lifting, allowing the score, a compelling orchestral composition by Henryk Goreki, to dominate.
Dancenorth doesn’t appear regularly on the dance calendar in Brisbane and therefore has yet to establish a following here like that enjoyed by companies more frequently seen. Under Page the company has been invigorated, and infected with a palpable enthusiasm, so hopefully it plans to come down south more often.
- DENISE RICHARDSON
Above: Mason Kelly and Ashley McLellan in A Pre-Emptive Requiem for Mother Nature. Photo: Amber Haines.
Below: Click on thumbnails to enlarge and see credits and captions.