Ignition | Australian Dance TheatreLeft - Scrap. Cover - Two Tone. Photos - Chris Herzfeld

Garry Stewart
has a reputation for thrusting aside the boundaries of contemporary dance. For this year’s Ignition he’s encouraged a talented group of young choreographer to reframe the assumptions about dance by simply asking “what is dance?’

Judging by the energetically appreciative full house, Stewart has asked the right question and assembled the correct ensemble to embark on a journey of inquiry and build a rapport between the youthful performers and the buoyant audience. This is partially because the high octane production never lets up from the moment a girl in a gorilla mask warms her feet in the glow of monitor in the first segment (named Apophenia and choreographed by Chris Aubrey) until the piece, just prior to the interval, called Be That as it May in which Tara Soh and Kyle Page, in an examination of motion, move with grace and power and disrobe beautifully in front of a screen (made of newspaper) displaying images of trains and fish.

Some of the appreciation is partially due to the familiar format of five short works featuring good dancing by up and coming choreographers who use a dazzling array of comedy, industrial music and movement in a lenient programme. Yet much is because the sequences burst with wit, (think breaking bodies to breaking glass) and attention-grabbing performances erupting from all corners of the stage. Then there is the subtly. For example, in The Universe of No-Body, Stewart and Kialea-Nadine Williams examine the definitions of dance and the philosophy of space. What’s more they make standing still and walking into an art form.

Overall, all performances, large and small, are outstanding and 2100’s Ignition is mostly transcendent.

Australian Dance Theatre presents

Ignition 2010: But is it really dance?

Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Dates/Times: 18 – 21 August at 8pm / 21 August at 4pm
Tickets: Adult $29, Concession $25 / Students $20 / Groups $26 / GreenRoom $18
Bookings: BASS 131 246 | www.bass.net.au

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