Riveting, dramatic, exciting, Matrix is a mesmerising visual audience experience. This production is the successful outcome of a creative collaboration between the Artistic Director of Expressions Dance Company, Amy Hollingsworth and Beijing’s, Ma Bo from LDTX Company. Fourteen of the twenty performers hail from the Beijing company and six from the Brisbane based, Expressions Dance Company.
Auto Cannibal has been created by Stephanie Lake and choreographed to percussive music by Robin Fox. On a stage devoid of props or backdrop, the dancers performed in loose black shorts and white singlets. Aesthetic minimilisation ensured the focus was on the unfolding performance.
This choreographic work explored the incredible capability of the human body in the contemporary dance context. The performers stretched toward the extremes of bodily articulation in a series of seemingly disjointed and dislocated positions. These were not at all moments of awkwardness during a performance which maintained fluidity and flow.
My companion, Judy, perceived an element of Kung Fu in the action-reaction sequence where it seemed that combatants challenged each other but caused no harm. This sequence was beautifully and seamlessly choreographed and executed.
Following interval, we were enthralled by Ma Bo’s work, Encircling Voyage which was set to music by David Darling. This 45 minute performance showcased the divergent creativity and capability of the Chinese dancers. They work in a cluster of physicality without looking crowded or cramped. Precision of motion is maintained within contained spatial limitations.
Mirrored benches were used with wonderful variation in functionality. In addition to reflecting movement, they serve also as seating for vignette moments as well as adjunct dance stages. When joined together, they provide structure for the finale which revolved around the ‘final moments’ of a lovely, lone female.
This work had Buddhist overtones of cyclic time and the relentless human process of birth, death and potential rebirth. It was exquisitely executed by the combined dance companies.
Matrix is an extraordinarily successful collaboration and merging of divergent culture and creativity. Amy Hollingsworth has triumphed in her inaugural year as Artistic Director of Expressions Dance Company.
Playhouse – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Performance: Wednesday 13 November 2019 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 16 November 2019
For more information,visit: www.expressionsdancecompany.org.au for details.
Image: Stephanie Lake’s Auto Cannibal in Matrix – photo by WANG Xiao-jing
Review: Michele-Rose Boylan