Rip Drag Ruminate
6:30pm, Sun 10 Mar 2013
An opportunity for AC Arts’ third year dance students to explore their physical and choreographic art, Rip Drag Ruminate is also an opportunity for family and friends of the students to publicly support the students, as well as let the general public have a look-in; but as a result, my Fringe-frazzled attire was quite obviously not the norm amongst the sea of familial-support formalwear. But, sweat-soaked and bedraggled, I managed to get a slightly less offensive seat on an aisle, and settled in for a quintet of contemporary dance pieces.
The first piece, Chris Mifsud’s Surrounds, was an interesting performance – but perhaps more for the choice of tenor saxophone for the backing music. Aimee Brown’s Norma disappointed – despite the interesting subject matter underpinning the piece (Marilyn Monroe’s bipolar disorder), there didn’t appear to be any real message or narrative… worse, the physical performance by the pair of dancers lacked both synchrony and snap to their movements when it felt like they were needed.
Abbe Peters’ Tessellate enticed with great use of strobe lighting, though the choreography felt like it was an exercise in what Chris Mifsud (appearing this time as a dancer) could do. Margot John’s Lost in Translation was the highlight of the ensemble, with four dancers performing wide, sweeping movements, drifting in-and-out of sync in a manner that recalled the stunning Drumming. Finally, Rita Bush’s Unexplained presented some interesting movement, but was most memorable for the live cello accompaniment.
At the end of Rip Drag Ruminate, I left the XSpace a little grumpy… it felt like it had been a distinctly uneven set of performances. But after a few days (weeks, months), I realised that that unevenness was largely due to the outstanding – and engaging – nature of Lost in Translation; without that standout piece, there would only really have been a lull due to Norma. And with that in mind, the AC Arts dance students (and the Elder Conservatorium composers & performers who provided the live music) put forth a pretty decent chunk of contemporary dance.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 10, 2013