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Review: Mickey at Track 8 Theatre, Carriageworks

Review by Alison Stoddart

In the pared back performance space of Track 8 at Carriageworks, Brook Stamp performed her interpretation of a life lived. Like the meanderings of a labyrinth which was used in ancient times as a walking meditation, Mickey is a meditative dance which often makes her audience feel like we are inside her head.

To the accompaniment of her piano player turned tech crew Daniel Jenatsch, dressed in black and bathed in HEV blue light, Stamp skulks at the edge of the floor space like an usher, waiting for the audience to notice her. What then follows is a mesmerising display of a narrative arc that is as deep as it is simple. Like all interpretive dance aiming to show human emotions, conditions and situations, any take on Mickey is entirely formed by individual experience. Stamp is a lithe and gifted dancer. She moves and sings beautifully.

A recurring theme of buildup and crescendo punctuated the performance starting with a birth strangely reminiscent of a snake shedding its skin. The portrayal of a childhood relived and the ventriloquist like use of voices in her head then becomes the voices in our heads. The use of a mirror to reveal uncertainty and then growth was especially effective.

Stamp’s performance of purging the bad stuff (yes I’ve had hangovers like this) was amusing and extremely expressive and mid-way through the performance the blank concrete space we are sitting and lounging in (for there are cushions on the floor for the more agile) starts to feel like the inside of Mickey’s head and we are all in there with her.

Eventually the turning to nature with birdsong to sooth the frantic mind is a mimed delight with Stamp capturing and releasing a bird, a sweet and visual metaphor of freedom.

The change of costume and the use of a white shirt, along with the change of shoes from athletic runners to workmanlike black boots, all contributed to an effect of growth and change.

The 75 odd audience members were left spellbound and silent, if not by anything more than simple curiosity of what this bizarre human being was going to do. Stamp held the room well but the intermittent bursts of claxon bells was a jarring intrusion into the serenity of movement.

Mickey was an intriguing and fascinating performance that pushed boundaries and leaned into an abstract form of dance to represent an internal reality. With each performance being a unique presentation, a return visit is recommended.

Image Supplied


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