[20060092] Not As Others

Not As Others

Jo Lloyd, Sarah Cartwright, Alison Currie, Ana Grosse @ Ausdance (Leigh Street)

4:00pm, Sun 19 Mar 2006

I wasn’t really sure about this one; Fringe + Dance doesn’t usually yield a great performance (witness one of my fave reviews ever, Bound Sonata). However, after a late start this piece really put itself head and shoulders above most of the genre’s competition for FF2006.

The piece is performed in the round… well, in the square, anyway. It’s a tight installation, with cushions and chairs right up to the edge of the performance square. Three woman stand, sit, lie in three corners of the square; there’s a persistent and foreboding noise coming from the audio system.

The performance starts… the music changes to sound like the droney bits from the Quake I soundtrack – dark, moody, ace. The standing woman bites into a carrot with a very crisp crunch… her greengrocer must have the freshest of the fresh. She snaps off a bit of carrot and throws it at her sitting colleague, who eats it. She throws another chunk, then another, another… the sitting woman tries to stuff it all into her mouth, fails. They collect carroty bits into the corner of the stage. All stand.

And then we begin an odd little exploration of what appeared to be obsessive/compulsive behaviours, aggression between and towards women, and the effect of social isolation on the individual… weighty stuff indeed, and beautifully performed.

If I was being picky, I’d say that this piece was probably not best presented in the round; no matter where you sat, you were going to have action obscured from you at some stage. Other than that, there’s little more to say other than – this was brilliant; in terms of dance, it was second only to Stau for the year.

As I stood in the foyer reading the program, I noted that one of the dancers, Ana Grosse, had a credit for Lontano Blu. “Oh no,” thought I, “no no no no no.” Luckily, she was absolutely fantastic in this piece, as opposed to the strangulated “dancing” in Blu; yet another smack-down to that piece of crap that sadly still sticks in my mind.

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