• Emma Sandall and Cass Mortimer-Eipper perform in 'Fleck&Flecker'.
    Emma Sandall and Cass Mortimer-Eipper perform in 'Fleck&Flecker'.

Subiaco Arts Centre, WA, 22 August, 2012

Fleck&Flecker is a stylish and inventive contemporary dance work, brimming with ideas. It is performed by Emma Sandall and Cass Mortimer Eipper, classically trained dancers who are also partners in life. The piece features a sculptural set design by Kwokka, brilliant animation by Ludwig, an eclectic and clever mix of music scored by Dan Gullaci and Ludwig, and striking use of colours and effects in a lighting design by Chris Petridis and Geoff Cobham.

When at their peak in 2010, Sandall and Mortimer Eipper took the brave step of leaving the relative safety of contracts with the West Australian Ballet to set up their own company, Ludwig, and pursue mutual creative goals. Fleck&Flecker is their first full-length work and it delivers a rewarding and intense 50-minute mix of “live” dance and ingenious, animated alter ego figures who dance and speak. The title and inspiration for the piece came from a self-portrait by Karl Anton Fleck of one body holding two heads.

Fleck&Flecker explores professional and personal complexities in a tongue-in-cheek yet moving and honest exposé of relationships, especially their own, interspersing dance and animation with a witty, stream-of-consciousness dialogue and philosophical musings from the animated figures: "But nobody really wants us to dance and just dance, they want us to dance about the state of the world.”

The world of Fleck&Flecker begins when two enlarged animated heads of Sandall and Mortimer Eipper are projected onto white panels. These images develop into two naked figures dancing to a song about dance as the figures swim and float magically among stars to Debussy’s Claire de Lune, asking “where are we going?”. An occasional loss of clarity in the dialogue makes listening an effort but well worth the while.

Following their “live” tentative first meeting, the pair’s attraction for each other grows slowly, the dancers creating supple and subtle shapes together and separately. They unite in a duet that starts in silence except for the sound of their breathing as they become more comfortable with each other, flirty and sensuous: “What are you doing?” “I’m improvising.”

They canoodle on the couch, mellow, gentle and loving as changing dynamics of movement reflect changing dynamics of their relationship. "I like this . . . the journey we’re on . . . my princess habits negotiated in a pool of indifference . . . your difference?" They are consumed with dance and love: “Hormones get excited and say, hey, we should dance together, forever.”

Rifts occur. One leaves yet returns, reaching-out with exaggerated movements, trying to impress, pushing and pulling each other, looking for middle ground and all beautifully danced by the pair. No extraneous movements occur; all convey intention or mood.

Eventually the projected image replicates the Fleck self-portrait and the pair remains on stage clasping and unclasping hands, yet united.


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