Ros Warby @ AIT Arts Space
6:30pm, Sat 2 Mar 2002
Short Review: Finesse
This was stunning.
As I’ve remarked earlier, I’ve been seeing a disproportionately large amount of dance this ff… and I had to fight to get a ticket to this “sold out” show (my diatribe about the Adelaide Festival ticketing fiasco will be elsewhere), so it was an extreme annoyance to see one-third of the seats in the AIT Arts Space empty. Obviously, there’s “sold out” and “SOLD OUT”. Anyhoo, I was glad I made the effort.
“Solos” is three solo pieces by Ros Warby. The first, “eve”, was choreographed by Warby herself, and is simply magnificent. Warby dances about the space, between (and up against) screens, which act as recipients for pre-filmed dance and movement pieces also. Some of the screens are translucent, allowing Warby to dance behind an image of herself dancing, while speaking softly to herself – positively freaky. Added to this is the use of carefully positioned spotlights casting Warby’s shadow(s) onto other screens. All this, and the music the piece was set to was sensational.
After a short interval, “Living with Surfaces” was a more mechanical piece, set to phasic experimental music. Using a fluoro green backing wall, Warby remains physically connected to the surface at all times, as she roams about in a gloriously stilted manner, connected to her discretely shifting shadow. After literally climbing the wall, she traces her own outline upon it in an act of self-definition (see, I do read the notes).
At this stage I was in ecstasy; I was ready to give this show an 11. However, the last piece, “FIRE”, saw Warby strutting about the stage chatting indecipherably to herself, occasionally turning to the audience in faux query, and even more occasionally performing something that may be misconstrued as dance. The notes indicate that “the dancer is with out his or her convictions about dance”, but I really couldn’t tell whether she was taking the piss or not. The lack of backing music only enhanced the suggestion that this piece is “ad-libbed”.
However, despite this last piece, I found this performance to be absolutely mesmerising. Go see it, if you get the chance (and dispute any “full house” claims).