Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Melenie Crowe Dance
Performed at Dancehouse, as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival
5 October, 2011

Danced by a skilled bunch of young professionals, Melenie Crowe's double bill
Duality is mildly entertaining though roughly hewn work.

Gretchen’s Mind, a physical exploration of mental illness, struggles to avoid clich├ęs. The mature presence of actor/dancer Meredith Kitchen provides a useful anchor for the younger artists, who mostly lack the butoh-type intensity required to pull off Crowe’s dramatic demands. A teddy bear, white night-gowns and strobe lights are sure-fire anguish inducers.

Evolution/Devolution eschews narrative, relying instead on dynamic movement. Insectoid shapes and twitching, twisting sequences are set to pounding electronic music with lurid, flashing lights. Lone male, Alya Manzart, cuts a powerful solo, but other sections are disjointed and unimaginative. Syncopated star jumps and knee slides top off a night of contemporary dance that might suit a general TV audience.

Performed by: Alya Manzart, Ashleigh Perrie, Charlotte Humphrey, Jayde MacDonough, Jin Cheng, Lisa Baruta, Lisa Wilson, Meredith Kitchen, Rain Francis & Paris (child performer).

A version of this review appeared in The Age newspaper.

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