Photos – Prudence Upton
Between Tiny Cities is a remarkable performance by dancers Erak Mith and Aaron Lim and directed by Nick Power. Right from the beginning there is the sense of a narrative woven into the dancing. It is not explicit and there is plenty of room for audience interpretation.
Standing in a large circle at the Sydney Opera House, there are moments when the battle lines have been drawn and an almost gladiatorial mood fills the space. That sense of b-boys battling it out, neither wanting to be bested. Then there are moments when the audience seems to disappear as you are drawn into a physical conversation that whispers to you with meaning but never confirms or denies what that might be. These mystical moments allow you to bring your own definition to the performance and fill in the gaps to create a story that has relevance for you.
Nick Power has choreographed an epic dance that has moments of spectacular tension created through music, movement and presence. Power also does an amazing job of exploring how music can affect a body. Without music, jerking movements appear uncontrolled and awkward. But as the beat drops you suddenly realise that each movement is deliberate and perfectly timed and the distortions become dance. The conversation between a body and music is a dominating theme in this show. How music and silence can have such a profound effect on our bodies and perceptions.
Power weaves in the potential of voice as Mith uses his native tongue to change the mood and adds another source of musical inspiration for the dancers. Lilts in tone and rhythm of words become a landscape for dance as cultural differences are highlighted. Yet even in this moment of difference there is a connecting thread. Hip Hop unifies the dancers and becomes a way to celebrate difference and share culture.
There is something beautiful about this performance. It isn’t raw it is deliberate and diverse. These are stories of evolution, animal instinct and intricate human relationships. There is isolation and solidarity. There is humour and physical exertion, silent breaths in and heavy gasps. This is a fresh and spectacular look at dance and the final moments will leave you connected to the magic of human bodies and how we relate to each other as human beings.
Sydney Opera House presents a Nick Power and Intimate Spectacle production
Between Tiny Cities
by Nick Power
Venue: Studio | Sydney Opera House NSW
Dates: 5 – 7 July 2019
Tickets: from $35