Etched Dance Productions @ Adelaide College of the Arts – XSpace
6:00pm, Sat 2 Mar 2013
Now, I love me some weirdness. I love it when productions get their abstraction hats on. It’s only rarely that I dislike someone’s genuine attempt to think outside the box.
But I’m still not quite sure how to take KnickKnack… because it’s walking a very fine line.
First impressions are pretty lousy: it seems the Etched Dance crew are trying to evoke the Mad Hatter with a curious chap introducing the notion of Tony… who is he? What is he? Does he even really exist? While this narrator prowls the floor, stumbling with his attempt at a lofty accent, two heads can be seen peeking through the curtains at the back of the stage… this is either unprofessional as fuck, I thought, or quite odd.
The heads belonged to two female performers, who subsequently burst onto the stage with exaggerated movements accompanied by non-stop non sequiturs. Their “dance” – and KnickKnack is, ostensibly, a dance performance – is bold and brash, with oodles of movement that could best be described as “colourful”.
And then Tony appears. He does exist, and he’s a banana. And he’s a morbid bugger: we’re all going to die sometime, he mopes, but he offers no insight or hope… Tony is, quite clearly, the counterpoint to the exuberance of Red and White (the female characters, who I think were supposed to be dolls).
And that’s KnickKnack in a nutshell. Effervescence on one hand, morbidity on the other, with the whole lot doused in a colourfully eccentric sauce. Nope, I’m still not sure about how to take KnickKnack. But I’m pretty sure that’s a Good Thing.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 2, 2013