‘T W O’ by Austinmer Dance Theatre
Adelaide Fringe Festival
Reviewed by Gabrielle Robinson for DanceLife
T W O was a special double bill of contemporary dance created exclusively for the company by internationally renowned choreographers Sagi Gross and Maurice Causey and performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival over March 16-18.
According to the promotional blurb, “T W O comprises two works that explore the connection between individuals and their audience, a T W O-way relationship between viewer and performer featuring studied and meticulous movements that explore the unique energy relationships between bodies.”
T W O by the Austinmer Dance Theatre was performed in the ballroom at Carclew House, during the Adelaide Fringe Festival, a perfect venue for this production, as the intimacy of the venue provided the viewer a close connection with the movement and dancers.
The first work in the double-bill was by Sagi Gross, and performed to music that allowed for complete dancer focus and complimented their work perfectly. Each dancer had the opportunity to express their individuality with solo and partnering work continually weaving around each other, keeping the flow of this piece interesting. A variety of entry and exit points kept the audiences close attention. Simple costuming, clean facial expression and use of the dancers breath was felt as a form of communication with the viewer. A strong choreographic thread was evident throughout and demonstrated the thematic content of the work.
In the second work by Maurice Causey, the dancers are again engaged in the connection with one another and the audience was invited to be at one with each movement. More upbeat music and choreography and a change of costume gave a brighter vibe to this section of work.
Featuring more dancers than the first piece, space was slightly limited in some formations and areas, and the more synchronised phrases in this work called for a stronger use of the dancers peripheral vision. Vocal laughter and talking between the dancers gives this work a relaxed feel, allowing a closer look at what happens when the curtain opens on our lives.
As a whole, the Austinmer Dance Theatre has definitely shown Adelaide an intriguing and engaging insight into what they intend to produce… that is; movement directed by feeling and energy rather than a physical state.
Sagi Gross has won five scholarships for both choreography and dancing from the American-Israel Sharet Foundation and his pieces have been performed globally. As a dancer, Sagi has performed with the Bat Dor Dance Company, and both The Israeli and Netherlands Opera Houses.
Maurice Causey has held both Principal and Dancer roles with such esteemed companies as The Frankfurt Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, The Cleveland Ballet, The Pennsylvania Ballet and The Gottenburgh Ballet in Sweden and has been Ballet Master for both the Royal Swedish Ballet and The Netherlands Dance Theatre. Maurice visits Australia on an annual basis to exclusively to work with the Austinmer Dance Theatre and has created three pieces for the company over the last four years.
Austinmer Dance Theatre is a part-time professional company for 17-25 year old Contemporary Dancers. The primary objective of this young company being to bridge the gap between full-time training, tertiary education and a professional dance career.