Short Sweet + Dance: Week 2Photos - Phluxus Dance Collective in The Machine That Carries The Soul

As I walk into the Newtown Theatre for the second week of Short Sweet + Dance, a funky four-piece band is playing in the corner of the stage. This becomes the first short work, “Space for Release,” choreographed by its four dancers. The dancing is lovely, but for its duration I find myself utterly transfixed by the band – George Bishop and the Summertime Band. Their sound is glorious, an alchemy of drum beats, guitar strums and harmonic vocal wails.

Short Sweet + Dance Week 2 (in which 10 short dance works are in competition) is off to a strong start, as the first piece is followed by the funny and flippant dance theatre work “I Heart NY” (choreographed by Matt Young). This piece is something of a Broadway satire, referencing recognisable phrases of movement, interspersed with skit-style street scenes and Frank Sinatra. Other highlights include “Walls of Entrapment” (choreographed by Katelyn Boshell), where two girls find themselves bound and trapped inside a smoky room, and “Kleenex” (choreographed by The Captain Planet Co.), a work about nose-picking in which all the dancers have their fingers up their nose most of the time. I also enjoyed “The Machine That Carries The Soul” (choreographed by Phluxus Dance Collective), in which three dancers are each enclosed in a square of crushed eggshells. Their movements are robotic, in contrast to the natural material of their enclosures. In the end, they each find a different way to escape their fragile traps – or to accept defeat.

The staging of this festival is excellent. All of the short works have been carefully programmed, and the resulting show is seamless and diverse. The members of the crew work together well, and though it must have been a significant undertaking to put together this program, the running of it is handled with ease. 

Part of the fascination with dance, for me, is in seeing the human body move in strong, unusual, astounding and articulate ways. For the most part, Short Sweet + Dance met all my expectations. This is perhaps the perfect format for new dance work, as each piece lasts no more than ten minutes. The scheduling not only allows for an economy of scale and message in many inspired cases, but also means that the inferior bits are guaranteed to be over soon. It’s a great opportunity for dancers and choreographers, and also an excellent experience for audiences of all kinds.


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

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