Dance Base Presents... Iskandar, Curve Foundation, Karl Jay-Lewin & Michael Popper

Show 1 of Dance Base’s 2006 Fringe performances consists of four separate pieces by Iskandar Dance Company, Karl Jay-Lewin Company, Michael Popper and the Curve Foundation respectively.

The program opens with El Saqiyeh, which translates to “the waterwheel”. It is exciting to see this form of dance (Hilal), particularly because it is less familiar to Western audiences. Still, I couldn’t help but notice that the two female dancers looked as if they were not at all present, almost as if they were dancing on auto-pilot. It detracted from the general beauty of the flowing movements.

Karl Jay-Lewin’s It’s about Time is second on the bill, and I can safely say that this is the worst bit of choreography I have ever been forced to endure. Mind you, this form of movement is nothing new to my eyes. In fact, being based out of New York, I have witnessed countless performances that are rooted in the principles of “Viewpoints”, that is, an exploration of the dancer in space, time, environment, etc. However, these performances always take the audience and their experience into consideration. When the woman sitting to my left fell asleep and the gentleman to my right was rubbing his forehead in what seemed like complete agony, I was reassured of my sense that this piece was entirely self-indulgent.

The program was then revived by two very strong works. The first was Michael Popper’s Unbounded, a powerful five-part piece in which the choreography was full of strength and dignity. Popper is joined on stage by cellist William Conway and it seems almost as if the two are dancing together, music and movement completely united.

The other is the Curve Foundation’s Beyond Prejudice, which was choreographed by The Royal Ballet’s Jonathan Watkins. The choice of music is fantastic and the piece is lively. Watkins’ ballet roots are very apparent, but he is not afraid to step outside the box either. I am very curious to see how his future work will evolve.

Reviews by Fritzie Andrade

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The Blurb

Dance Base – National Centre for Dance, 17 Aug. 3.00pm 18 Aug. 5.30pm 19 Aug. 8.00pm 20 Aug. 12.30pm (1 hour 25 minutes)

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