Apparently That's What Happened is a new contemporary dance work by Melbourne choreographer Jo Lloyd, with dancers Luke George and Tim Harvey. The piece explores fragmented recall, perspective and the reconstruction of events through the distorting filter of memory.
The audience is ushered into the cavernous Meat Market venue, which has been transformed into a highly charged performance space, filled with dynamic 3D cutouts, shadows and imprints. Something has occurred here; are we in the midst of the action or have we arrived for the aftermath? Lurid pink lighting places us immediately someplace 'other'. We have entered a heightened realm of memory where the information presented is unreliable and subjective. The audience begin to construct history for the space and anticipate what's going to occur even before the dancers appear.
Reconstructing events from snatches and glimpses, the movement vocabulary initially is broad, filled with suspended moments, interrupted and fragmented phrase material, large shapes and extended limbs. The dancers weave and intersect with frenetic energy, pausing and moving as dictated by a booming sound scape presented in surround sound stereo. These moments of stillness however, sometimes did not resonate fully, as it appeared at times that the performers were waiting for their movement cues from the soundtrack, rather than being fully submerged and engaged within the material.
The performers coerce and manipulate each other into positions that hint at narrative. Their roles in the action are implied - are they active perpetrators or victims? The reality of the piece is completely subjective; there are multiple versions of events, presented from different perspectives. Who are we to believe? Whose reality are we witnessing? Although they dance together, each performer is somewhat passive in relation to the others and the dynamic between dancers is left skilfully ambiguous.
The fractured movement, interrupted phrase material and disjointed retelling reflect the distortion of memory and the slippery nature of reconstruction. We initially witness action that has retrograded and climaxed to a catastrophic end point and are now privy to a slow reveal, a gradual colouring in of detail and nuance. The textures of the work slowly coagulate to create a complete whole. The lucid timeline adds to the sense of disorientation as we try to define the action for ourselves and the conclusion is beautiful it its simplicity.
Apparently That's What Happened is an ambitious project containing complex material that will no doubt solidify further over the course of the season. It is a successful collaboration between prolific members of the Melbourne dance scene, hopefully one that will continue to produce exciting work in the future.
Jo Lloyd presents
APPARENTLY THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED
Venue: Arts House, Meat Market | 5 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne Mel Ref: 2B A9
Dates: Wednesday 25 – Sunday 29 June 2008
Times: Wed – Sat 7.30pm, Sun 5pm. 45 minutes – no interval
Bookings: www.easytix.com.au/artshouse or 03 9639 0096
More info: www.artshouse.com.au