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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

DanceX (Arts Centre Melbourne)

The Australian premiere of Johan Inger’s comic, romantic dance theatre piece I New Then, set to songs by Van Morrison, is the undoubted highlight of DanceX Part I.

Inger, a Swedish choreographer, danced with Nederlands Dans Theater and has made works for leading companies all over Europe.

Photos by Kate Longley

The feel-good 28-minute dance experience is energetic and humorous. The music makes it particularly relatable.

The nine dancers – five men and four women – get the evening off to a particularly memorable start with their stage craft and impeccable skills.

A more solemn and darker work follows in the ensuing half hour. I refer to Sydney Dance Company’s ab(intra), meaning “from within” (Latin).

It is an exploration of primal instincts, impulses and responses, and takes us from tenderness to turmoil.

Two entwined dancers begin the piece in perfect harmony, before it opens up in the second scene.

After interval, Lucy Guerin Inc takes to the stage with How To Be Us.

The 15-minute work considers ideas of cooperation and coexistence, spontaneity and empathy.

It includes improvised movement created by the two dancers.

The night finishes impressively with a highly creative and spirited work from Bangarra Dance Theatre, titled Terrain, first performed a decade ago.

Three separate scenes involving 15 dancers over 22 minutes captivate the audience with their primordial power.

Against an evocative backdrop and earthy costuming, the work is about the ties that bind, specifically the body and the land.

DanceX Part I is playing at Arts Centre Melbourne until 22nd October.

Part II is on from 25th to 28th October and Part III from 29th October until 1st November, 2022.


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