Rule of Thirds, Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program 2016

Published in Buzzcuts:

Hosted by Chunky Move, Rule of Thirds is an incredibly intricate performance that celebrates the perseverance and courage to reinvent oneself in the face of self-doubt. The piece is the third and final part of Chunky Move’s Embodiment series – a trilogy of interventions between dancers, a movement score and a chosen site.

For the final part of the trilogy, we are taken back to the theatre space where minimalism runs rampant and our minds are free to wander, ponder and ultimately let our curiosity set in while we wait for the magic to happen on stage.

The lights dim down, and a beautiful silence fills the room. As a smoky haze enshrouds us, a man enraptures our gaze as he effortlessly moves his body with sublime flexibility and fluidity. Ebbing and flowing to the centre of the stage, he is eventually joined by two female dancers as all of their performances become interwoven and synchronised with one another.

Captivated by these dancers, we are unaware a fourth one lurks in the shadows, ready to make his spectacular debut towards the end when pounding music, intricate choreography and tantalising technicolour takes centre stage and creates an ending with a bang.

What’s incredibly striking about this performance piece is the fluidity of the dancers. Mesmerising is what we could use to describe it. When they move, we are hypnotised, transported into another dimension where reality coexists in harmony with illusion and we are allowed to feel, rather than think. There is no such thing as past or future, only present.

But it’s not just the fluidity that strikes a cord, it’s also the music and stagecraft that interweaves itself into the performance. Its synchronisation with the dancers is faultless as it is seamless. When the music gets rough, so do they. When the music gets gentle, so do they. The lighting simply heightens the pace in these moments of tension and softness, imbuing the room with effervescent colours of blue and green as the performers portray intimate vignettes of self-doubt, self-hate and eventually self-reinvention. The smoke surrounding us acts as a metaphor for life – the world of the unknown, and our fear of going to the other side to see what is in store for us.

When the performance ends, the audience is left with a sense of longing not just for the piece, but for own lives as it proposes us with a simple question – are we doing everything we possibly can to achieve our true potential in life?

The performance is visual imagery at its best, and when a physical piece forces you to call into question everything you think you know about yourself – that is the definition of great theatre.

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