Monday, December 1, 2008

Coming Out!

LINK Dance Company

Dancehouse, Melbourne

November 27, 2008

Coming Out! is an opportunity for graduating students from tertiary dance courses around Australia to showcase their work. Program A was performed by LINK, the honours-year company from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and featured choreography by Narelle Benjamin, Martin del Amo and Michael Whaites.

In Benjamin’s Out Of Water, the all-female ensemble move through a series of modified yoga postures, demonstrating their extreme flexibility and strength. Set to an atmospheric soundscape by Huey Benjamin, the dancers maintain good unison and a sense of continuous, fluid motion, yet the overall impression is more akin to a gymnastic display than a dance piece.

In contrast, Mountains Never Meet by del Amo makes no attempt at virtuosity, instead relying on increasingly intricate arrangements of pedestrian movement. Wearing jeans and sneakers, the performers walk, jump, skip and run in the deceptively simple, well structured choreography, which speaks volumes about the human condition through clever manipulation of space and time.

Surrealism is the focus of the final piece, created by Whaites in collaboration with the dancers. Titled Miss Muffet Eats a Mushroom, it combines inventive costuming, some ironic spoken word and detailed original movement. The ideas and images presented are constantly surprising and engaging, though more stringent editing would make for a stronger result.

The eight women of LINK gave solid performances, though with so few graduate positions available in Australia, they’ll need more than just technical proficiency and tertiary qualifications if they hope to build a career.

First published in The Age newspaper.

Members of LINK Dance Company 2008: Carly Armstrong, Li-yi Chiu (Courtesy Taipei National University of Arts), Jamie Lee, Jessica Lewis, Jehane Lindley, Kylie Murray, Rhiannon Spratling and Amy Wiseman.

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