REVIEW | LEAP

leap_Shontaya Smedley, Callum Mooney, Ashley Goh, Maikolo Fekitoa, Felicia Stav, Jervis Livelo_photo_Grant Leslie Photography

LEAP is Unique In So Many Ways

Choreographed and Directed by the Phenomenal Amy Campbell

Reviewed by Yvette Guldur

Outstanding International Theatre Director , Producer and Writer Neil Gooding presents LEAP Created, Choreographed and Directed by the phenomenal Amy Campbell

I will start by saying the standing ovation the production received was absolutely well deserved. 

It’s true that LEAP is not a musical, it’s not a dance show, it’s not a concert, its actually not anything you have seen before as it’s all of these fused together and much more to create a brilliant production. 

LEAP is unique in so many ways, it’s truly refreshing to have experienced something so fresh and unseen before. 

The show is the perfect collision of bodies moving in unbelievable ways and exquisite live classical music that is put together with precision in the most magical way. 

The dance cast is made up of 10 absolutely stunning dancers that are outstanding in each of their mastered styles of dance. The very talented dance ensemble includes Callum Mooney, Ashley Goh, Maikolo Fekitoa, Felicia Stavropoulos, Cassandra Merwood, Natalie Foti, Neven Connolly, Shontaya Smedley, Ryan Ophel and Jervis Livelo.

LEAP – Callum Mooney, Ryan Ophel, Jervis Livelo, Maikolo Fekitoa. Photo: Grant Leslie

Although each and every single dancer is phenomenal in every way, some standouts are Callum Mooney who lead the narrative who is so versatile every time he stepped on stage, bringing light humour and is definitely a crowd pleaser. It is so intriguing to witness his body move as one with the beautiful sound of the violin and other times so powerful yet he showed humour throughout. Maikolo Fekitoa is truly mind blowing with what his body can do. His lightness, perfection and professionalism are second to none, you can’t help but be drawn to his every move and the audience eruption of applause was a reflection of his outstanding performance. Felicia Stav is beyond captivating with her presence, technique and energy on stage. Felicia’s duo with Ryan Ophel is amazing. Neven Connolly is unique in every single way, I almost have no words to express the extraordinary and sensational way his body moves, contours  and the unbelievable shapes he creates. A highlight of the entire show was his effortless yet intense juggling act, it was so entertaining and to see Callum join in was awesome. This scene had the audience enthralled.

Ashley Goh is so entertaining with her electrifying hip hop, popping and then to see her play the piano was a brilliant surprise. Shontaya Smedley is Devine with flawless technique that is especially highlighted up high on the prop. Another standout scene was with Maikolo Fekitoa, Ashley Goh, Cassandra Merwood and Ryan Ophel with just their voices, this piece is unique, fun and had the crowd so entertained throughout the entire performance, I loved the energy and different element this brought to the show. Each and every single dancer executed the fabulous choreography so well and it was great to see each dancer highlight their own craft and mastered style, from hip hop, ballet, contemporary, vogue, commercial jazz to popping, acrobatic and even juggling to the brilliant live classically music performed by the outstanding musicians. 

Victoria Falconer is genius in the musical arrangements brought together in this show. The four virtuoso concert musicians Conrad Hamill – Cellist, Dora Maria – Violin, Neon Fan – Piano and Neel Shulka – Drums were so incredible that it felt and sounded like it was a full orchestra performing yet there was only 4 members. Having the live music brought such a powerful element to the entire show. Neither the live music or the dancers overtook each other, they collided with impeccable precision. I found myself thinking “Was the music playing to the flawless dance movements or the dancers moving to the captivating sounds of the musicians? “ They both hit every beat and movement in such unison interweaving every effortless moment with exhilarating energy. The result is truly dynamic with a soundtrack of Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Vivaldi and many more classical masterpieces that are rearranged with honour, delight and then showcased through the movement of the soul of each of the dancers telling the story in such a powerful and beautiful way that was accentuated so incredibly by Richard Neville’s effective and beyond brilliant lighting and set design and Mason Browne’s costume designs that are amazing, raw and perfectly created for each performers character, style of dance and the narrative. 

I enjoyed every single aspect of Leap. 

I will finish by saying it again, this production deserved the standing ovation it received. A must see for sure. 

LEAP – Ashley Goh Photo – Grant Leslie
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