Tense DaveTense and thrilling are two words rarely credited to dance, let alone live performance in general. Tense Dave can have both attributed. As a production it is tense making and thrilling. The entire performance takes place on a revolving stage, which is divided with walls into five pods. In the five pods are five characters; Tense Dave, the slacker psychopath, the suicidal paranoiac, the Victorian trash-romance junkie and the self obsessed actor. Each is illuminated as they pass under the light and the audience gets momentary snatches of strange preoccupations and absurd habits taking place within the isolated pods. The voyeuristic appetite is whetted as the revolve continues to reveal more bazaar and disconcerting activities.

The pitch of the piece changes as Dave crashes in on the other pods. He pushes the walls of the set into a dance, blowing apart worlds that fragment then unite in strange and fantastical combinations. The score adds to this. The sound range is magic with song, composition, sound scape and spoken word. The taught integration of the characters, their action and dance with each other and the set, the lights, sound and space is extraordinary as Dave races from one moment to the next, continuously spiralling through the space of his mind/reality.

There are dark and violent moments, some absolutely gratuitous (but without ever spilling a drop of blood), marital arts fighting and dissecting of bodies, obsessive finger action, with some music hall variety added to the mix. Although the performance is tense making, it is these extremes that add touches of hilarity, which is a welcoming release from the obsessive spin the characters wind themselves into. The performers’ actions and interactions transmit tension and then laughter, then horror, then laughter again.

Tense Dave doesn’t present itself as dance, likely an affect of the collaboration between director Michael Kantor and choreographers Gidon Obarzanek and Lucy Guerin. Never the less, it is highly choreographed with dancers and set constantly on the move, weaving a thrilling piece of totally engaging live performance.

Chunky Move Dance presents
Tense Dave

Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide
Dates/Times: 2 - 5 May @ 7:30pm
Tickets: Adult: $35, Concession: $30, iNSPACE Members: $25
Bookings: BASS Ticketing or 131 246


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