Conceived and Directed by Ros Warby
Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
26 February, 2012
Crumbling, toppling. Hillsides crowned by ancient ruins. A glance, a curled fingertip. The liquid architecture of looping vocals and cello.
Three women, standing tall. Three women mirrored and enlarged by film and recorded sound. Three tones combining to create a unified whole.
Internal, emotional landscapes. Built forms and scurrying crowds. A minute gesture, a grand idea.
Ros Warby traverses a fascinating terrain in her latest creation. Joined on stage by vocalist Ria Soemardjo and cellist Helen Mountfort, and accompanied by archival and specially filmed footage, Warby's style continues to be fascinating, detailed and just beyond recognition.
Wearing a white shirt and trousers, Warby draws our attention to her eloquent hands, the edges of her feet, the lines of her gaze. She carefully includes the musicians in her stage design, walking with them, approaching and interacting with them with practiced ease born from many years of collaboration.
There are structures within structures, not all of them immediately apparent, but with evident symmetry and purpose we become aware that there is a detailed design here, even if we can't immediately grasp it.
Warby's movement is as crisp and inscrutable as ever; arching back to glimpse the tip of a skyscraper, repeatedly falling as though torn down like a condemned structure. But not all of this action can be directly related to the built world, some of it comes from within, from negotiating those complex inner spaces and thoughts that allow us to get through each day, or leave us howling, sprawled over a chair. The interplay is subtle, wonderful.
There's a balletic elegance to her upright posture, which she then goes about dismantling, distorting or elongating her spine and limbs into briefly held poses.
As in previous work, she uses a nonsensical vocal language, which communicates on a similar level to her movement and the sounds created by Mountfort and Soemardjo. They are complementary instruments, the three of them, playing to a three dimensional score.
The filmed footage works on many levels. Looping Warby's choreography back on itself, creating a terrifying sense of loss and destruction as buildings are dismantled, highlighting the architectural nature of the work by examining structures.
It's deeply considered and richly textured work developed through a mature creative partnership, a rare and heady combination.
Conceived/Directed: Ros Warby
Created in collaboration with: Helen Mountfort, Margie Medlin, Ria Soemardjo
Choreographer/Performer: Ros Warby
Light/Projection/Set Designer: Margie Medlin
Composer/Performer (cello): Helen Mountfort
Performer (voice): Ria Soemardjo
Cinematographer: Ben Speth
Editor (film): Martin Fox
Costume Designer: Harriet Oxley
Tabla: Sam Evans
Management: Moriarty's Project Inc.