JACK RILEY CONTACT

It’s infinitely pleasing to come across such an intelligent and well thought through performance so early in Fringe, though for whoever comes next, Contact has left the bar impossibly high. It’s tightly wound stuff with razor sharp choreography, and the connection shared between the ensemble is almost palpable.

What makes this more exciting is that this is not just a dance performance in the purest sense. The physicality is underpinned by Robert Downie’s live score, which reaches electrifying heights. So too does the use of each of the devices employed as integral mechanisms.

It’s a performance that leaves more questions than it delivers any resolute answers. The introduction to the space and the performance centres around a lone figure that, without having to rely on lighting or production, is surrealist in its simplicity. From this point, the performance unfurls. Each of the performers goes into battle with themselves and their own ideals; they ricochet, then fall back into their own quiet yet abrasive rhythm. Completing this vision is the work of Rachel Zany Lee, who is responsible for creating a lighting scape that is at times dreamlike with flashes of the more unsettling dispersed throughout.

What’s most promising here above anything is the level of restraint applied. For a group of young, fresh-faced dancers, they have chosen a select catalogue of ideas and concepts and stuck with them. This forty-minute work  has been made stronger by this choice. It’s interesting to note that these performers are all recent graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts, and within this performance we begin to see what will hopefully be the next micro trend in locally produced work. If dance can continue to evolve beyond something physical and with such acute ideas being channelled through the body in conversation, it has a bright future indeed.

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