Human conversations rarely flow smoothly. There are many interruptions. Confusion reigns over who is talking and who is listening. So it is, when percussion talks to movement in Isabela and Are you game? Two new works by choreographer, Annalouise Paul that make up Conversations in Rhythm + Dance.
Isabela is a piece of music, dance and fragmented monologue centred around the woman who was queen of Spain in the 1490’s. The speed and dexterity of Bobby Singh's hands as he glides over his four tabla drums is extraordinary. The sound of the tabla is captivating, sometimes light and tinny and other times deep and echoing. Annalouise Paul plays Queen Isabella prancing, and tap dancing her way round the stage with stiff and precise movements. The music frequently interrupts Queen Isabella’s speech like one of her disobedient subjects. Robby Varga remains on a stool, strumming his guitar with pony tale and long back boots. While there is much to be admired about these individual performance, they don’t seem to form a coherent whole and so fail to genuinely engage the audience.
Are You Game? is by far the stronger of the two pieces. Bobby Singh is back and blazing away on his Tabla drums. He is joined by percussionist, Peter Kennard and dancers, Miranda Wheen and Melisa Gowen. The dancers are a contrast in styles between loose flowing limbs and stiff smaller movements. Humour builds as the performers try to guess each other’s next moves
Peter Kennard uses cymbals, upturned metal bowls and larger drums to create his rhythms. A mischievous grin and green woollen scarf wrapped tightly around his neck gives him a great stage presence. He is the slightly unhinged percussion wizard.
Conversations in Rhythm + Dance is well worth a look for something different. It will certainly inspire you to go home and start banging on stuff.
Conversations in Rhythm + Dance
Venue: Parramatta Riverside Theatre | Cnr Church & Market Sts, Parramatta
Dates/Times: 8pm Wednesday 17 Sept 8pm Thursday 18 Sept 11.30am & 8pm Friday 19 Sept 8pm Saturday 20 Sept
Tickets: $32 Full; $28 Conc; $25 Groups; $17 Schools, Under 16
Bookings: 02 8839 3399 www.riversideparramatta.com.au