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Review: THREE at Brisbane Powerhouse

Review by Sarah Skubala

 

Three choreographers, three composers, three costume designers. Australasian Dance Collective presents their new triple bill THREE, aptly returning for a third time after a hiatus last year. THREE is a visual degustation showcasing the versatility and strength of the company’s six dancers in two world premieres running either side of a Brisbane premiere by an independent guest artist, a feature Artistic Director Amy Hollingsworth wants to continue moving forward. This year THREE is being presented as part of the OHM music festival at Brisbane Powerhouse.

 

In his second commission for the Australasian Dance Collective, composer and choreographer Alisdair Macindoe presented the first piece of the night entitled Dull Boy. As an artist who has eschewed Facebook in perpetuity, Macindoe’s Dull Boy is an exploration of social media and how it impacts our lives, particularly for creatives who face increasing pressure to brand and promote themselves on digital platforms. Starting with a slow build, the electronic score, which was heavily influenced by drum and bass music, was hypnotic. The company worked seamlessly to achieve both flow and frenzy with their choreography, and a notable performance was given by newest addition Georgia Van Gils. The visual world of the piece, created with advertising waste, saw Set and Costume Design team Chloe Greaves and Alisdair Macindoe asymmetrically patchwork together the costumes with pre-loved clothing in a streetwear line that would be in high demand should it ever be released for sale. Dull Boy was anything but dull, drawing the audience in and leaving them wanting more.

 

Tiny Infinite Deaths was the second piece of the night, presented by guest solo artist Amber McCartney. Previously performed at the National Gallery of Victoria in partnership with RISING 2023, Amber won the inaugural John Truscott Artists Award for her work, which premiered as part of Pieces 2022 after a commission by Lucy Guerin Inc and The Substation. Amber’s work, incorporating prosthetics, mask-making, and film to create augmented, foreign bodies would be best enjoyed without any spoilers, but mention must go to her precision choreography. Reminiscent of the style of stop motion special effects used in ‘90s art house horror films, there were no camera tricks here, only Amber’s expert dancing skills. Tiny Infinite Deaths was truly unique, and the creatives who enhanced the piece included Composer Makeda Zucco, Costume Designer Andrew Treloar, and Lighting Realisation team Claire Browning and Ben Hughes.

 

The final piece of the night and my personal favourite was Truth Beauty Suffering, choreographed by the award-winning Jenni Large. This boundary pushing work explored the relationship between romance and capitalism, love and war, loneliness and connection. Costuming by the award-winning designer Bethany Cordwell highlighted this juxtaposition with a colour palette of luscious reds and pinks alongside the khaki fatigues found in combat gear. Special mention must go to the coolest technicolour dreamcoat I’ve ever seen, made with ballet tulle and UV glow paint. Anna Whitaker’s score was urgent and pulsing; the sound system in the Powerhouse is simply incredible. The dancing, by company artists Tyrel Dulvare, Harrison Elliott, Lilly King, Taiga Kita-Leong, Lily Potger and Georgia Van Gils, was outstanding and provocative. The two moments of absolute silence, which essentially broke the piece itself into thirds, were particularly electric.

 

Australasian Dance Collective’s season of THREE is short and runs until 23rd March. Lovers of cutting-edge contemporary dance, music, and art won’t want to miss it.


Image Credit: David Kelly

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