Choreographically, Turk in Italy is probably one of the most active operas I’ve seen. Director Simon Phillips has done an impressive job of keeping the visuals of the show moving (pleasing for a dancer’s brain to watch!) however there are moments within the work that show glimpses of something that was probably slick and neat on opening night, but has since fallen a little flat.
Nevertheless, the opera sparkles with a delightfully bright, colorful and incredibly funny story, with most of the Italian libretto translated into colloquial Aussie slang (which adds to the comedy enormously) and a delicious set and costume design by Gabriela Tylesova The Turk In Italy is naughty, outrageous and high energy. If you’re after a night of absolutely no subtlety, this is the opera for you.
Off to the Southbank Theatre last night to see Sydney Dance Company perform their triple bill Interplay.
Thank God for triple bills. As the first piece: Rafeal Bonachela’s 2 in D Minor (a piece about as engaging as it’s title) concludes, you are instantly thankful for the variety. The 2nd and 3rd pieces of the program managed to showcase the company, allowing the audience to see what they can really do. Raw Models by Jacopo Godani opens with a vicious, powerful intensity that seem to evoke super-heros. Dressed in slinky black sheer costumes, the dancers battle with razor sharp limbs under a spectacular lighting design and a truly epic soundscape.
After a second intermission, the audience were introduced to a seemingly completely different company. Gone were the powerful comic book characters and in it’s place were casually dressed pedestrians dancing with a joy and abandon as if they were dancing alone in their bedroom. Gideon Oberzanek’s new work L’Chaim addresses very literally the reality of performance. The dancers pass around a microphone and answer questions about how they are feeling and what they are thinking about, all the while trying to keep up with the unison of the group.
The concept of stripping back the theatricality of a dance work and being honest about the humanity of dancers is certainly not new, but Oberzanek crafts this work with such a delicate hand, it feels clever and fresh.
Shian Law is a relatively new arrival on the independent dance scene, but with this new work, Personal Mythologies <img372|left> , he is quickly gaining attention.
This contemporary dance piece/performance instillation/promenade performance is unique and engaging.
Shain Law walks into the foyer, dressed like a stiff white cloud, taking the hand of one audience member and leads them into the theatre. A few moments later, he returns and selects the next audience member who will join him through the shiny gold curtain hung over the entrance.
Inside, a dark room illuminates a series of unusual objects of varying size and textures. Each audience member is lead to one and given instructions “notice the distance between these two rectangles’ “appreciate the verticality of this box’ “You might like to respond to this cone by putting your arms in the air and turning around.’
For the following hour, Shian Law and his cast of four other performers dance a surreal collection of scenes, some beautifully strange, some amusingly quirky. Shian Law is an artist to watch. His willingness to experiment and play makes for some fantastic dance theatre.