MoveMe Dance Makers: Feats of strength

Rita Clarke, The Australian

Richard Cilli’s short, arresting curtain-raiser This is Now opens Co3’s double bill in the MoveMe Dance Makers Project. Fourteen dancers from Link Dance Company emit strange noises and reveal red synthetic pompoms that cover their hands. They make a swishing sound as they intricately vacuum up the space with magnificent chutzpah.

Co3’s In-Lore Act II, choreographed by Chrissie Parrott, is about a ghostly stranger (Tanya Brown) who disrupts a family of five. Parrott’s work demands almost superhuman strength, gladiatorial endurance and dramatic power, which Co3’s Brown, Ella-Rose Trew, Katherine Gurr, Zoe Wozniak, Andrew Searle and David Mack possess in spades. Space for Parrott is like a canvas: she situates important things in different pockets of the stage so you need to be vigilant. There’s a wooden table to the side where dancers are manipulated and silently and furiously argue. Duets are performed with torturous impact, in which shoulders enforce subservience.

A recurring action, in which one dancer stands behind another and both put out their curved arms, is quite beautiful. It’s sad, joyous and magnificently performed, with tantalising music by Eden Mulholland. You can never tear your eyes from a multifaceted Parrott work or the superlative dancers of Co3.

In You Do Ewe the same dancers, plus Mitch Harvey (replacing Mack), perform a humorous piece commissioned by Co3 from Amy Wiseman, Carly Armstrong and Jessica Lewis of Unkempt Dance. Searle is a self-obsessed show host and the others eager contestants. Talking incessantly, donning outrageous wigs and showing off, the six compete with utter contempt for decorum. The top moment is Wozniak’s spotlit performance like Beyonce. With Mulholland’s music, this is an audience-pleaser, clever and fun.