Petroglyphs – Signs of Life is a wondrous, inspired and beautiful dance performance that sadly leaves one with the thought ‘if only”….
“If only” this award winning modern dance could have been experienced in a different environment.
Choreographers Leigh Warren and Gina Rings have created a magical piece of dance that weaves it's way continuously through the Tandanya galleries, leaving the audience to part like the rivers and ebb and flow with the performance. While the idea is a creative one, the result is that it is difficult to keep up with the movement, troublesome to see the different sections of the dance and almost impossible to sit back and immerse oneself in this thrilling production.
The choreographers have created this “dancework in promenade” to explore the elements of Australian landscape, language and people through the oldest form of visual communication – petroglyphs (carvings in rock formations).
Ironically in the same way that the ancient petroglyphs, and other such sacred sites of the world, can rarely be enjoyed in solitude and silence but rather in crowds of sightseers, the same effect is experienced as a member of the cumbersome audience in this return season.
As the publicity states, the production received rave reviews when it premiered in Adelaide in 2005 – culminating with co-choreographers Leigh Warren and Gina Rings picking up the 2005 Adelaide Critics Circle Innovation Award for their collaborative efforts.
It is easy to see why. The choreography is inspired and a new line-up of dancers mesmerizing.
David Gadsden’s original lighting design, and Susan Grey-Gardner’s remount create pockets of beautiful colours that enhance the dancers and depict the timbre of the Australian landscape. India Flint has used a fabulous blend of fabrics to design costumes that are earthy, sensual and original.
In this scenario the dancers can truly shine. Twelve dancers - Deon Hastie, Kynan Hughes, Jo Roads, Gala Moody, Gina Rings, Albert David, Sani Townson, Rosealee Pearson, Ian Colless, Ella Havelka, Nancy Cook and Damien Ralphs – are stunning. Two Indigenous singers from the central desert assist them.
Anyone who has seen the beauty of the Australian landscape and felt a profound sense of belonging to the land, moments of feeling almost spiritually connected to the sights, sounds and scents of the Australian land, are sure to resonate with this powerful dance.
Petroglyphs - Signs of Life
A collaboration between Leigh Warren & Dancers, Gina Rings and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute
Venue: Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute | 253 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA
When: 30, 31 October and 1, 4, 5, 6 November 2008 at 8pm; 2 November, 2008 at 4pm
Cost: Adults $25; Concessions $18
Bookings: Leigh Warren & Dancers on Ph: 08 8212 5660