FRINGE REVIEW – Unchartered Waters

*****

Not the typical aerial show, Unchartered Waters is a triple bill of local and international talent in a 1.5 hour long performance. The elements connecting the narratives is the sea – both onboard a ship and on the docks – and musician Dave Boyd, serenading the audience throughout the performance.

The first story is a beautifully executed duo, “Spokes”. Jennifer Paterson of All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre and Ducy Deacon of Strangebird Zirkus portray mischievous sailors on an adventurous sea journey. Rather cunningly using the Chinese Pole as a mast and the silks as sails, the performance is a captivating spectacle with aerial tricks combined with some contemporary dance. A highly stylised piece, with modernised Victorian dock / factory workman’s garb as costuming. The adventure includes danger, doubt, and triumph – with a dose of humour and playfulness to make it an uplifting performance.

The next story is “Youkali” by Moritz Linkmann of Strangebird Zirkus solo. A gender-bending story with powerful Chinese Pole work, the performance exemplifies self-awareness with a touch of sadness. Beginning with a fierce tango, Moritz Linkmann’s wild, impassioned tricks on the pole defies the laws of physics; then, a complete change to feminine grace and softness. A haunting performance, leaving the audience wanting more.

Lastly, “123 here we go…” is performed by Jennifer Paterson, who seems to be levitating in mid air during this performance piece. The lighting and music imbue an otherworldly affect, and the audience’s disbelief is suspended as she weaves and twists the corde lisse around herself many metres off the floor. Creating unusual patterns and shapes with her body and the rope, Jennifer Paterson brings contemporary dance qualities into her aerial work; at times resembling a proud figurehead of the ship, then a fragile Icarus falling from the skies. Perhaps attempting to suspend the audience’s disbelief for a little too long, still this performance is an original work of art in the aerial world.

By Ingrida Dornbrook

18-21 Aug, 21:00 (22:30) @ Dance Base – National Centre for Dance

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