Side to One is a brilliantly physical and precise investigation of human connection. When Lisa Griffiths and Craig Bary met a decade ago, they formed a strong friendship while also discovering their unfathomable connection between mind and body, which they imagine as akin to the experience of twins.
When they began playing with this idea of the utmost level of interpersonal connectedness several years ago, the pair visited an op-shop in search of physical representations of the concept, and returned with the largest, daggiest jumper available. This jumper is with them today, incorporated in their show as a skin, a cage, and a protection.
Their performance flows through the constant transferal of power – encompassing physical weight and movement, as well as trust, control, release. A strong storyline is imperceptible, and nor is it really required. Exploration is the focus. The dancers challenge their ability to move as one unit, moving within one skin, attuned and aligned.
The relationship turns suddenly to violence, and without obvious explanation. However, it is at this point in the show that my partner identifies the focal theme as being human relationships. A somewhat worrying observation, which perhaps I shouldn’t read into?
Yet I do, of course. In fact, this violence seems a natural progression of the energy of the piece – a fierce pushing away, a withdrawal and assertion of independence. Using the ever present soundscape and audio devices, we hear of the individual's confusion and hurt at their partner’s/lover’s behaviour. And yet when expressed on a physical level, this clash seems almost logical. Though they return to one another, there remains an energy of conflict. While they apparently can and want to move as one, each still feels the urge to do their own thing. This performance is a beautiful expression of the paradox of human relationships and love; mutual need and desire for togetherness, conflicting with instincts of individualism.
Griffiths and Bary are the creative forces behind this piece, along with Adam Synnott, a fellow dancer and the show’s interactive sound and projections designer. Synnott worked closely with the performers throughout the construction period to include many live auditory aspects in the show, allowing them freedom to extend performance segments in response to live synthetic sound creation. This sense of organic development permeates the show, enhancing its very living, very breathing nature.
Side to One concludes with no solid answers. Building from the performers’ questions about their own abilities, we are lead on an exploration of human interaction; watch how we push and pull against each other in an endless cycle of energy; witness the beauty, ugliness, joy and pain of this collision.
Adelaide Festival Centre's InSpace Program presents
Side to One
Lisa Griffiths & Craig Bary
Venue: Space Theatre | Adelaide Festival Centre
Dates: 27 – 30 July 2011
Times: Wednesday & Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm Saturday 3pm & 8pm
Tickets: Adult $29 | Concession $25
Duration: 1 Hour