You may be familiar with Short + Sweet, the theatre-festival-that-could, which has been running for seven years. Short Sweet + Dance is its more corporeal offshoot, and has begun life this year at Newtown Theatre. Short Sweet + Dance is an excellent opportunity for emerging and established choreographers and dancers to showcase new and, in many cases, innovative work. The format is simple: a series of 10-minute pieces by different choreographers and dancers. The festival is run over two weeks, with each week featuring ten new works. There is also the inclusion of a one-performance “wild-card” show, a collection of works that didn’t quite make it into the main programme.
This week is the first, showcasing ten very diverse works from interpretive dance, to hip-hop fusion, to contemporary postmodern dance. Many of the works were strong, but from my perspective there were certain standouts. I particularly enjoyed the opening piece, “In the Moment” (choreographed by Sarah-Vyne Vassallo), an abstract and funny work revolving around the concept of five dancers fastened to the floor via gumboots. Another wonderful entrant was “Pieces of Mind” (choreographer: Eva Fernandez Adan), a slightly surreal work featuring interesting duo work and plenty of books. A crowd favourite was Kay Armstrong’s solo contribution “Different Frock, Same Bird,” a hilariously strange piece using the kind of comedy that carries a joke on so long that it goes through many stages of funny.
These short works are not all sweet, but that’s the beauty of this kind of bite-sized festival. Although the better pieces seem to end too quickly, there’s mercifully little to endure of the less-engaging ones. And at the end of it all, you can have your own say on the audience choice ballot, so there’s something there for everyone.
SHORT SWEET & DANCE
Venue: Newtown Theatre | Cnr of King and Bray St Newtown
Week 1 - Tuesday 9th Oct - Saturday Oct 13th
Week 2 - Tuesday 16th Oct-Saturday Oct 20th
Times: Tuesday - Saturday 8pm, Matinee Saturday 5pm
Tickets: Adult $25/ $20 concession
Tight night (preview) Tuesday: All tix $15
Groups of 12+ $20 per tix
Bookings: MCA Ticketing on: 1300 306 776 or www.mca-tix.com