SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL: ‘Three Steps Towards’ a most exciting triple bill as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. Three very strong, powerful contrasting works all by, for and about women.
A most exciting triple bill as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. Three very strong, powerful contrasting works all by, for and about women.
First was 'Tyche' by Imogen Cranna, based on the ancient Greek goddess of fortune. Cranna is originally from New Zealand and was involved in ‘Are We There Yet?’ for the 2010 Sydney Festival opening night. The use of technology and film is extremely important in this work. The performance space area for this work is tiny handkerchief size.
As in a Cunningham performance, and as we are talking about chance and fortune, performance sequences are determined by chance - we see on screen the throw of the dice to determine what order they are performed in. Cranna in a beautifully cut leotard and sweatpants is at first an ancient Greek maiden with a long sleek ponytail offering to the goddess and there is a lovely snaky, twisty, angular solo with the softly lit candles.
In other sections there is a collage sequence of images for a hand held camera activated by Cranna; in another Cranna plays with light, using an extremely bright hand held torch - this leads to a series of polarized (?) images of hands on the screen. Another section has a martial arts feel as Cranna boxes with projections of herself (Tyche as a warrior goddess?). In several sequences there is use of multiples/mirror images.
Towards the end there are repeated phrases of movement as Cranna does her face and hair - this leads to a strange sequence of 'V' shaped arms like bats and how the film image of Cranna is 'taken over' so to speak by a black disease like infection.
Haunting and unusual.
The stage was expanded for the other two works.
Cloe Fournier's 'Erase' is extremely intense and has enormous impact. It is about failed family relationships, in particular a daughter's with her father. Fournier looks like a stunning blonde bombshell starlet of the 1930's/40's with huge eyes and powerful shoulders. Her downcast entry in a beautiful textured red dress, with the golden lighting slowly increasing is mesmerizing. At times this solo is angular yet sculptural, at others Fournier is a shaking tree, beaten and abused, or cowed and pigeon toed. She is a startling mix of childlike and sultry siren. There is enormous control (e.g. her very slowly and deliberately sitting on a chair) contrasted with explosive emotional, physical and verbal release.
Very different again was Tanya Voges', 'Remove Darkness', which had an eerie, mysterious opening in the half light. Voges is a Dirty Feeter (like Fournier) who has also worked with Opera Australia and was in loved with Short+Sweet Dance 2010. The idea behind this work was the striving towards enlightenment. It was sort of a moody Zen meditation on this. The choreography was at times frieze-like (shades of Nijinksy's 'Faune' perhaps?) , sometimes it rippled, or was wave like, or was like a plant growing.. For most of the work Voges wore a hooded, sleeveless knee length black outfit. For the finale she wore a delicate, diaphanous grey costume and was full of sinuous grace, floating in the light, or at times trying to measure the weight of it.
A very inspiring and intriguing programme of independent dance.
Three Steps Towards
Part of the Sydney Fringe
The Italian Forum
Running time - an hour no interval
First published on
What the stars mean?
- Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
- Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
- Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
- Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
- Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
- Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
- Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
- One star: Awful, to be avoided
- Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level