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Review: Rip Drag Ruminate at The Stables

By Lisa Lanzi

TAFE SA’s Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance) is a degree in elite dance performance. Delivered in partnership with Flinders University, the course combines performance and theoretical study of classical and contemporary dance. This production is created entirely by the seven students entering their third and final year in 2019. The young creatives are responsible for every aspect of Rip Drag Ruminate including choreography, scheduling, design, sound, lighting and concept: “all we know is now”. They have been ably mentored by permanent staff Peter Sheedy and Lisa Heaven and visiting lecturers including Kialea-Nadine Williams, Jo Stone and Catherine Wells. The technical support from lighting designer Mark Shelton and sound designer Andrew Leitch is second to none. The course is impressive in a number of areas: the excellence and dedication of the permanent lecturers, the quality of visiting professionals offering their expertise, the networking and connection with the dance profession across Australia and the unique position of having art, design and technical production housed on the same campus. AC Arts is a thriving environment where emerging dancers can develop and shine and this performance is a wonderful testament to that.

The seven choreographers each present one work and all perform numerous times in the programme. This of course necessitates a pause between each work but this is ameliorated by a wonderful soundscape based around Dylan Thomas’ poem Do not go gentle into that good night. All performers are impressive in technique, focus and energy but I do want to mention Jazz Hriskin and Tiarna Linke for their impressive flow, extension and presence.

Each choreography had merit and the raw physicality exhibited proves that these young artists are positively influenced by current contemporary dancers and companies in Australia. Two of the works, Freshly Baked Apple Pie (Leo Ashenden) and Same thing, different day (Ashlee Vermeer) exhibited irony and humour. A number of the works used text and vocalization alongside the movement with varying degrees of success but the originality in all works was inspiring.

Kirra Doherty’s 21.5921° S, 121.5237° E channelled prey and predator vibes and the weighted, muscular choreography set a dark atmosphere. Check Mate from Madeline Bulmer used text and rhythm well plus elements of humour and the pathos of the ‘outsider’ character. Ctrl+Alt+Del choreographed by Tiphenie Evans placed a flowing solo dancer against the backdrop of more ritualised mechanical group movement giving us a glimpse of technology versus the individual.

Jazz Hriskin’s compelling You Make Me touched on societal pressure and individual identity with an all-female cast. Two distinct halves of this work took us from beautiful, synchronized and sinuous choreography to more frenetic and raw images. The final work Mutterseelenallein by Tiarna Linke opened with text about loneliness as opposed to alone-ness. The German title refers to being utterly alone. The work had excellent flow and echoed ideas of isolation and dislocation with intriguing and beautiful choreography.

It will be exciting to see where these seven talented dancers take their careers into the future.

Photos Supplied by Lisa Lanzi

All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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