Tuesday, November 9, 2010
EXCITING A BLUSH
Autumnal is a new baby with lots of promise. Formed by six of Australia’s youngest independent artists on the creative block (Laura Boynes, Dean Cross, Angela Goh, Chrissy Norford, Eleanor Wood and Patricia Wood) all of Canberra fame and all bringing a nice sizzle to the performance art and contemporary dance sector. Exciting a Blush was the debut of Autumnal and the choreographic debut for Autumnal member Angela Goh, its Sydney season was held at PACT Theater in Erskineville after a season in Canberra at the QL2 Theater.
Exciting a Blush was an investigation into the human action of the blush, exploring the ideas of social interaction and sexual awakening; this concept came together extremely well. The main concepts of sexual investigation risked becoming overly erotic and detracting from the movement vocabulary; however Goh’s wonderfully considered treatment of this theme allowed for a work which fluctuated between intense sexual desire and an innocent exploratory journey between young lovers. Similarly this was reflected in Goh’s choreography which can be at one point an exploration into tiny detail and in moments transform into ferociously accomplished technical manoeuvres. A particular highlight of this would be the fantastically climatic solo by Dean Cross in the concluding moments of this piece.
The grittiness which was demonstrated in this performance was also reflected in the sparse backdrop which adorned PACT theater. Eerily hanging picture frames and the curiously feathered owl atop the head of one of the artists added an extra element which led itself to consider the work out of the frame of a ‘contemporary dance piece’. Although obviously executed on a tight budget, this hardly detracted from the work itself; rather it was endearing and touching to see the great dedication of Autumnal in getting this show off the ground, let alone touring it to two different locations.
The cast of the show threw themselves into this work with gusto, of particular note was the collaboration between Autumnal and classically trained vocalist Eleanor Wood. Often taking this path of the ‘outsider’ collaboration in a dance piece can end up looking tacky, ill considered and embarrassing for audience and cast alike. However, Wood stood out as a highlight of the show and it is a fantastic complement to Goh who has evidently invested a lot of time into the technical training of Wood and also the thematic interactions between the cast members which made this work so well.
Exciting A Blush was everything a new performance by early career artists should be. Refreshingly engaging in a way that better funded and mid to late career companies and artists can never be. The choreography of Angela Goh and the execution by the cast has been a wonderfully positive debut for Autumnal. Be sure to remember the name.
Media Enquiries: Chrissy Norford: email@example.com
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