REVIEW | One Single Action

One Single Action

A Masterpiece of Precision and Fluidity

Reviewed by Brendan Daynes

One Single Action, the latest creation from acclaimed choreographer Lucy Guerin, sees two dancers navigating a narrow path, moving fluidly between conflict and harmony This journey, brought to life by the remarkable performances of Amber McCartney and Geoffrey Watson, is both intriguing and evocative, showcasing the intricate choreography and compelling energy for which Guerin is renowned.

The performance unfolds without a clear narrative structure, leaving interpretation open to the audience. Dancers armed with hammers and clear goggles engage in a symbolic act: the smashing of a moon-like orb. This gesture, both literal and metaphorical, invites contemplation on themes of disruption and transformation.

Guerin’s choreography in this production exemplifies precision at its finest. Every movement is meticulously crafted, with the dancers’ limbs lifting and dropping in flawless synchrony. However, this rhythmic precision is cleverly disrupted with contrasting movements with ballet and tango influences, injecting moments of fluidity and relaxation. These brief interludes not only showcase the choreography’s versatility but also add layers of depth to the performance.

McCartney and Watson deftly manoeuvre through a world fraught with interference, their limbs shooting out at precise right angles, only to shift into lush, lyrical phrases that momentarily break the mechanical rhythm. This interplay between meticulous, angular movements and unexpected bursts of fluidity encapsulates the core of Guerin’s choreographic genius.

The production elements are integral to the productions impact. Paul Lim’s lighting design creates a fragmented and disorienting atmosphere, perfectly complementing the choreography’s tension. Kate Davis, who doubles as both costume designer and dramaturg, ensures that the dancers’ attire reflects the dichotomy of their movements—both restrictive and liberating. The composition and sound design by CS + Kreme add an aural layer that is at once haunting and immersive, further drawing the audience into the dancers’ tumultuous journey.

One Single Action embodies everything one anticipates from a Lucy Guerin piece—captivating, unconventional, and deeply engaging. Through its contemplative exploration of movement and symbolism, Guerin defies traditional dance narratives, delivering a performance that leaves a lasting impression even after the lights fade. This production underscores Guerin’s knack for pushing artistic boundaries and crafting experiences that resonate profoundly with audiences, affirming her status as a visionary in contemporary dance.

One Single Action played as part of Melbourne’s RISING festival at ArtsHouse from 13th June – 16th June 2024. For more information, visit

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