Deft display of dance a real triumph
Review: Cutting edge contemporary choreography delivered by three consummate performers definitely opened the mind through-out Triumphs and other Alternatives on Friday night.
Led by one of New Zealand's most innovative choreographers and dancers, Ross McCormack, he revealed the universal angst, ruminations and triumphs of a creator.
Recently a recipient of the Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship, McCormack shows his mastery as a performer, mime artist, set designer and director.
The set appeared part construction site, part artist's garret. McCormack wove his actions around this, using measured mechanical movements thrown against manic musings mixed with whimsical daydreaming.
And from the angst came his two creations, performed by Emily Adams and Xin Ji. Writhing, as if newly born, unsteady in their bodies, they discovered facial expressions, how to walk, and forays into independence.
Integral to the movement was the sound. Some of cellular development, thoughts mumbled, then other moments, loud thundering drums. Every sound element was measured, set against moments of quiet, when only the heaving breathing of the performers was audible.
Although there were a couple of moments when the performance lost rhythm, there was no lack of exploration into every nuance of movement, of emotion and physicality possible.
The years of strenuous training perfected by each of the three performers were obvious. Moments like when Ji positioned himself in a low squat, legs wide open, then lifted up with effortless grace, or the routine when Adams discovered her limbs and jerkily took her first robotic baby steps, are evidence enough.
McCormack gave us an alternative, other worldly insight into the machinations of both maker and his creations. Something deeply challenging that will return to our minds over and over again. Isn't that what next generation performances should be?