[2015156] Sous Vide

[2015156] Sous Vide

Laura Boynes & Tony Currie @ Holden Street Theatres – The Studio

7:30pm, Fri 13 Mar 2015

I read choreographer Laura Boynes’ claims that Sous Vide “explores preservation and humanities’ attempts to immortalise the world around us” just before I walked into The Studio to see the work… so when I saw a vacuum-seal bag filled with ice cubes hanging from the ceiling, I inwardly smirked. I distinctly remember thinking “This is either going to be really good, or self-indulgent symbolic bullshit.”

Luckily, it turned out to be the former.

When Boynes and Tony Currie take to the stage, they’re wearing garment bags and wielding vacuum cleaners; their movements become a ludicrous dance of domesticity, and all the while the ice in the bag is melting… creaks from the bag seem to indicate the passing of time, the impermanence of man.

Or something.

The dance is vibrant and challenging; abstract, yet with visual cues rooted in the familiar. Best of all, though, is the fact that it’s genuinely entertaining, with a staging that is both curious and full of humour. There’s an element of theatre to the piece, too, with quirky looks between Boynes and Currie driving expectation, narrative, and humour.

But the best thing about Sous Vide is its pacing. Even when the speed of movement slows, the show never loses its interest: there’s always some quirky set-piece being established, or a prop being used in an unexpected manner. The marriage of that pacing with some wonderful dancing (and some cheeky stabs at modern life) results in a polished production that completely belies Boynes’ self-imposed “work-in-progress” tag… this was a truly great piece of contemporary dance theatre.

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