After mostly solo acts at the Week 1 round, it was refreshing to see many larger groups performing at The Wildcards round. Here’s what I thought:
The Blind Leading The Blind 3/5
Brief interaction with the audience quickly indicate that the setting of the first act is cabin crew staff presenting safety regulations, specifically “how to watch people moving in a lit space”. I thought the tongue-in-cheek nature of the performance and the mime-esque choreography was very clever; just a shame the dialogue got slightly muffled by the airplane audio track.
Same Love 2/5
This two-hander mixes a jazzy style choreography with a hip hop track which I thought was an interesting pairing. The dance is performed well and the lyrics of the song which promotes equality is moving and inspiring but the two elements just didn’t quite mesh together.
Moving Through New York 4/5
Lines between reality and fantasy are blurred in this dance medley which celebrates the Big Apple through song and the iconic New York subway system. The quintet jump back and forth between two worlds – the regular humdrum of traveling the subway and an alternate reality which is represented through a collection of engaging and well structured ballet and jazz performances.
A fascinating and incredibly restrained dance symbolizing a mother’s support for her son. This duet makes full use of the performance space – their bodies frolic, connect and intertwine, skillfully moving as one unit from one end to the other with great strength and grace.
The Sound Of ‘Music’ 2/5
This large ensemble performance is a nod to arguably the most popular tune from the movie. I liked the beginning and the end but I found the main body of the performance far too messy; the verbal exchanges unfortunately got lost under the track and the choreography while well crafted appeared to lack focus.
There Was A Time 5/5
A melancholic piece which conveys the effects of psychological and physical loss through some brilliantly well thought out choreography. The trio are enthusiastic in their delivery and work together in perfect tandem, injecting personality and a touch of humor into their performance – they were a clear crowd favorite.
Another crowd favorite, this energetic performance explores the consumer culture, specifically people’s obsession with exclusive sneaker collections and branded gear. The quintet are the youngest performers on the bill but they are skilled dancers beyond their years with bucket loads of attitude.
Transitional Space 1/5
This solo piece is strange and abstract but a little bit too much for my liking. I liked the concept of the dancing against a projected image; there was a rather soothing almost haunting rhythm watching live versus filmed movement but when the imagery shifted to the performer in the second half, I found it far too self-indulgent.
Woman’s World 5/5
The final act celebrates women through a series of beautifully choreographed belly dances and what a visual treat it was! Their colorful costumes and sensual dance moves are perfectly juxtaposed with the choice of music and everything comes together to form one slick and seamless performance.
Overall this was a much more diverse and mixed bag compared to the Week 1 round which I appreciated. I daresay a few of the performances definitely deserve to move up from wildcard status if they choose to compete again next year!
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.
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