The world of contemporary dance can be a magnificent place for exploration of form, body, music and a new frontier in creative expression. It can also be a place where arrogance and self-indulgence are more apparent than artistic expression, and I’m sorry to say that Phillip Adams collaboration with Brooke Stamp was of the latter.
Of the double bill of Stamp’s And All Things Return To Nature and Adams' Tomorrow, Stamp came closer to offering a provocative and intriguing piece of theatre than her collaborator.
Advertised as “avant-garde and “cutting edge,” Adams aims to push the boundaries of contemporary dance with his unique brand of choreography. There’s no doubting that what Balletlab does is different, they offer an experience rather than a performance and take elements from architecture, science and music to offer a complete package of design.
At least that is what Balletlab asserts they are offering. While audience participation was encouraged, Adams own piece Tomorrow, offered little in the way “dance.”
A desert theme, alien threat and piercing music shook through the theatre (audience members were offered ear plugs before the performance) and yet didn’t mange to arouse the senses.
As Stamp’s choreography ended and the performers disrobed, it seemed all elements of “dance” were abandoned as audience members were invited to join the performers on stage.
What happened then? Nothing.
For the next 30 minutes, the performance (if you can call it that) dissolved into a tedious display of bodies (both naked and clothed) holding various objects (a rock, or piece of string) that concluded with one performer staring into the abyss of a cement mixer as the lights faded down.
What Adams has created is certainly unique, and he is adept at pushing the boundaries of art. However his latest production couldn’t stimulate the senses or offer anything to the audience by way of performance. Unfortunately this 15-year-long piece in the making is nothing more than an ego-fuelled yet lackluster production that put simply, is a struggle to sit through.
Phillip Adams Balletlab presents
And All Things Return To Nature Tomorrow
Choreographers Phillip Adams and Brooke Stamp
Venue: The Lawler | Southbank Theatre 140 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank VIC
Dates: 15 – 23 March 2013
Tickets: $48 – $28
Bookings: www.mtc.com.au | 03 8688 0800