Canada-based Idan Cohen is first up with a fantasy built on the myth of Orpheus, whose spirit is presented in the performances of each of the dancers.
Introduced by Gluck’s familiar operatic music, an unworldly atmosphere is immediately captured and maintained throughout the piece, as it moves between full ensemble and individual sequences to good effect.
Leah Marojevic, a PPY 2014 graduate, whirls her performers into a seemingly endless on-the-spot jiggling and shaking before pulling them to a dramatic halt and a slow-motion sequence. From dancing in a group but solo within a self-centred bubble, they reach out to each other and then the audience.
It’s an interesting concept that unfolds to make sense, illustrating individuality of character through well controlled movement and sharply focused thought.
Vicki Van Hout collaborated with the performers to make The Consumerist Spectacle, which takes on today’s political environment through elements of the Dreaming that illustrate brutality and the Beast within.
It’s an edgy picture, presented in words as well as movement and not entirely comprehensible to this viewer, but invigorating to watch because of the vitality, commitment and skill of the dancers. As in the previous works, they negotiate the relatively crowded space and each other with well-rehearsed ability.
Rafael Bonachela contributed a reworking of sections of his 2016 piece Lux Tenebris to give the dancers their most technical challenges. They meet them triumphantly in collective and individual displays that show off the gymnastic ingenuity of the choreography and the performers themselves.
Lighting by Alexander Berlage enhances the action. Fiona Holley’s costume designs range from an entertaining mish-mash in red and black for the opener to a curious jumble of street clothes for the other two new pieces. Somehow, it all works – as does this program, an unexpected whole.
Until Friday December 13