Side to One

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Presented by Artful Management and the Adelaide Festival Centre inSpace programme
Reviewed Wednesday 27th July 2011

http://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au

Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Season: 7pm Thurs 28th, 8pm Fri 29th, 3pm and 8pm Sat 30th July 2011
Duration: 50mins
Tickets: adult $29/conc $25/student $20/Green Room $15/groups 6+ $26
Bookings: BASS 131 241 or http://www.bass.net.au

Choreographed and performed by Lisa Griffiths and Craig Bary, this work delves into the search for a soul mate and questions what exactly makes a soul mate. The two have been paired in dance performances numerous times over the years and have often been told that they seem to think and move like one. That started them thinking about why, as well as developing ways to work together to build on this. Their instinctive understanding of each other's dancing was the catalyst for this work.

The performance is carried out on, around and within a large light-box, which also serves as a screen for projections of animations driven by the sound-scape. Adam Synnot is responsible for the sound and interactive visual design, with Ben Flett designing the intricate lighting. A small dot appears on the face of the structure, more appear, shapes form and rotate then disappear again as Griffiths appears. An outsize pullover is the only prop used in the performance, opening with Griffiths wearing it, rearranging it, transforming its meaning beyond that of simply a piece of clothing. When he appears, she begins sharing it with Bary, then relinquishing it to him, before it is temporarily abandoned.

For the most part there is a tight spatial relationship between the two dancers, performing in close proximity, often making physical contact, and dancing in unison. This is a very intimate performance, mirroring the intimacy of the subject matter. Occasionally one starts a movement, they join in unison, then the other completes it. There is such smooth flow at times that it is easy to overlook the complexity of the choreography and the demands placed on the dancers. The two are so in tune with one another that they make it look easy.

Relationships are not all sweetness and light, however, and things do not always run smoothly. There are some strong sections indicating conflict, even violence. At one point Griffiths sits at one end atop the light-box, singing to herself, while Bary sits inside at the other end, controlling the music. They both have their backs to the other. They rediscover their individualities and can now take their relationship forward, coming together again as the piece concludes.

The third major performer in this piece is Adam Synnot, who provides the live soundtrack, a combination of rhythmic electronic sounds, guitar and occasional musique concrète, in the form of voices. The sounds also drive the animated projections, placing these, too, under his control. This is an integrated production, all of the elements combining to create an exciting and innovative performance. This is the world première and this excellent piece will no doubt have many more performances ahead of it, as the enthusiastic audience applause indicated.

Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.

[Photo: Chris Herzfeld]

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