Pie Charts & Panties
Vital Organs Collective / The Lost Rung @ Holden Street Theatres (The Studio)
6:00pm, Sat 21 Mar 2009
On my last trip out to Holden Street for 2009, I was a little disappointed that the girl with the gorgeous eyes wasn’t behind the bar – I would’ve loved to have seen her again. Instead, I merely had to make do with a pair of shows back-to-back. The first show on that Holden Street double header was Pie Charts & Panties, a pair of dance pieces… wait, that sounds a little wrong. “Physical theatre” is a much better fit, because these performances were real feats of strength, as well as balance and choreography.
The first piece, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Pie-Charts, was presented by Adam Jackson and Josh Mitchell (collectively known as The Lost Rung). As the name suggests, it leverages ideas put forth in Steven R. Covey’s renowned tome, with snippets of the text (projected into the dance space) acting as themes for each piece of dance. Though, again, “dance” may not really be the right word; these were feats of strength, with power and balance pieces familiar to those who frequent the circussy acts in The Garden. The difference here, though, is that the performers started out in neat suits and, indicative of the humour that pervades the piece, the initial power-handshake led to an all-out assault. Great stuff.
The Lost Rung chaps re-appeared with Ben Leeks, Kathleen Skipp, and Emma Vaiano in the second piece. After a moody opening – a comically sultry dance, with a blonde woman perched upon a bloke’s shoulders – Frilly Knickers becomes a much more invigorating piece. It’s a more traditional dance presentation – the two girls and their frilly knickers being swung and flung between the three blokes with scary regularity, amping up to a brilliant high-energy finale. There’s laughs a-plenty here, too, especially when the blokes own the stage – pantomime-ish wary looks and the resultant flying bodies really make this stand out.
Overall, I really enjoyed Pie Charts & Panties – it was great movement, enthusiastically performed. Best of all, though, was the immediacy, the impact, that I felt sitting down the front of The Studio – hearing the performers pant with exertion, seeing sweat droplets streaking through the air. That gave the performance that extra little bit of oomph, and made it genuinely exciting.