Short+Sweet is back! Showcasing a plethora of bite-sized performances, this festival – now in its fourth year – is bigger and better than ever with the program split in to three categories: dance, song and theatre.
First up: Dance – Week 1 group. Featuring a generous bill of twelve acts, it was quite the tasting platter! Here’s what I thought:
A contemporary group dance backed by live vocals and guitar with a powerful message about how we make judgments on others. The performance was a beautiful, seamless mesh of song and dance; the unplugged vibe made it a soothing piece yet the lyrics grabs your attention and makes you also reflect.
The Bachelor 5/5
Described as a “piss-take on the reality TV show The Bachelor”, this dance features a lot of amusing and rather “disjointed” choreography that oddly still comes across as graceful. Even if you have not watched the series, the hilarious dance moves of these five ladies which depict the various typical women who are on the show is entertainment enough.
A solid and well structured performance about the bond between brother and sister. The two performers have an intuitiveness and undeniable chemistry that really does feel like one you might see shared between siblings.
Man/Made Heaven 3/5
This solo is quite an intriguing one; the performer has her back to us initially but excerpts from songs which bear clear religious themes draws us in. This is juxtaposed well with the arresting dialogue that follows which she skillfully delivers like a remix track, however for me it was more monologue than dance piece.
Aima Andante 3/5
A stirring interpretative solo about a soul’s journey of reliving past memories. Graceful and haunting dance with great use of the performance space and I thought the colored spotlights was a nice touch, adding another visual layer to the performance.
A Kathak Dance 4/5
This cultural piece is a refreshing one and with the dance involving ankle bells and the performer donning a bright and sparkling costume, it is both a treat to the ears and the eyes. This is Bollywood meets tap dancing and it is a joyous watch.
Another solo piece and this one explores the different relationships people have with music. The choreography is energetic and has a wonderful rhythmic quality to it that I found incredibly mesmerizing – this was one of my favorites of the night.
Kei Wareware Tatou (Lest We Forget) 5/5
A highly emotive and chilling group performance which reflects on the lives of the Maori Battalion soldiers. The piece is excellently crafted and choreographed; the performers work in harmony together while having great solo moments too and I loved the beautiful acappella rendition of Amazing Grace at the start and the end.
Virgin Insect 3/5
A captivating solo exploring the process of metamorphosis. The choreography is edgy and visually engaging; the performer’s face is concealed initially which not only suits the theme but coupled with the dimly lit stage, added an element of mystery to the performance.
This very clever and tongue-in-cheek duet is physical comedy meets contemporary dance. The two performers are adept dancers as well as effortless entertainers, garnering laughs easily with their comical facial expressions and slapstick-esque banter with each other.
Demi God Half Human 1/5
This dark piece is one which I struggled with and found to be extremely confusing – the lack of synopsis in the program didn’t help but I think that is the point. The performance is very unsettling and visually disturbing especially near the end.
Body Party 5/5
The final performance is well placed at the end as it is a medley of many styles of dance and what happens when they all come together in a confused state. A brilliantly choreographed piece with the performer smoothly merging into and jumping between the different styles skillfully.
Overall it was certainly a visually stimulating seventy-five minutes that will prove that you do not need to solely rely on words to tell a story. The performances are mostly within the realms of interpretative and contemporary dance so it is not quite the variety I was expecting to see but they were all very creative pieces so it was still an enjoyable watch.
Short+Sweet Dance will be at the Herald Theatre until June 9th. Click here for tickets.
WEEK 1: Tuesday, May 28 – Saturday, June 1 2013 (Tues-Thur 7pm, Fri-Sat 8pm)
WILDCARD: Saturday, June 1 (3pm)
WEEK 2: Tuesday, June 4 – June 8 2013 (Tues-Thur 7pm, Fri-Sat 8pm)
GALA FINAL: Sunday June 9 (3pm & 7pm)
For the full festival programme, click here.