180 Seconds in (Disco) Heaven or HellImage by Byron Perry


Most dancers begin their careers in the sequin filled world of suburban dance schools. Many performers emerge from these lycra laboratories to continue more formal training and physical rigor. However, occasionally you catch a glimpse of the awkward pubescent dancer, the gangly ugly ducking that grew into a graceful swan.

180 Seconds in (Disco) Heaven or Hell is presented by Arts House as part of The Dance Massive Festival, ably hosted by Sydney based dance theatre artists The Fondue Set and is a solid gold celebration of all that is kitsch, retro and ironic.

Utilising diverse dance companies (a break dancing troupe, a belly dancing trio and a contemporary company to name a few) the performers presented a work typical to their genre and then re-contextualized their practice within the disco era.

Belly dancers Underbelly collaborated with choreographer Bec Reid to present a reinterpretation of The Bee Gees track ‘You Should Be Dancin’. Their spectacular gold outfits befitted the theme as they shimmied their way through a routine that would have made John Travolta proud.

Choreographer Byron Perry worked with traditional Indian dancers to give us disco with flavours of the sub-continent and hip hop company Wickidforce Breakers with choreographer Matt Cornell provided enough silver hotpants, afros and bling for all present.

Our hosts for the evening The Fondue Set presented a mass dance event involving members of the audience but the highlight of the evening was local contemporary dance company Panther whose deadpan beginning and spectacular spandex-clad finale was a definite crowd pleaser.

The Meat Market space was divided into 3 stages to accommodate the short work format, however the actual performance vignettes were quite brief and the intervals many. The night could have benefited from more presented material and less milling around for a crowd crying out to be entertained.

However the 180 Seconds format is an endearing one and it will be interesting to see which genre they tackle next.


Venue: Arts House, Meat Market, 5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne
Dates: 8 Mar
Tickets: $10
Times: 8pm – til late with intervals
Bookings: 03 9639 0096 or www.dancemassive.com.au

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