Keep Everything is one of those shows that leaves you wondering if we have enough words in our vocabulary to suit the kind of pieces that are emerging from some of our contemporary performance makers. Shifting seamlessly from sound art and light show, to spoken word and back again, via a whole lot of stopovers in beautiful movement, this is much more than dance.
We start in darkness, with almost ten minutes of smoke, light and sound setting us up for a shock as white light suddenly illuminates the stage. As the smoke dissipates, Lauren Langlois and Alisdair Macindoe demonstrate some of the most precise isolation I’ve ever seen, as something like an animatronic exhibition of prehistoric man. Benjamin Hancock is buried under a pile of rubble, his face the only thing we can see. As he speaks, and rolls himself in a way that makes him seem like he is made of the foam he emerges from, we see the humour that punctuates the performance.
Antony Hamilton lives up to his enviable reputation. He’s created works for many of Australia’s best-known dance companies (including Australian Dance Theatre, Lucy Guerin Inc, LINK, and Dance North to name a few) and was the inaugural recipient of both the Russell Page Fellowship (2004), and the Tanja Liedtke Fellowship (2009). If that’s not enough of a CV, he’s also got a Helpmann. Add to that a score by ARIA-winning musicians Julian Hamilton and Kym Moves (The Presets), lighting design by Benjamin Cisterne and AV design from Robin Fox and you’ve got a recipe for something totally new.
This work was apparently constructed from all of the bits and pieces that Antony Hamilton has discarded from previous works. It’s a series of non sequiturs that are brought together with great skill, to create just over an hour of performance that moves, amuses, confuses and intrigues. It doesn’t hurt that the three dancers are sublime to watch.
From the simplest use of numbers and pace, to the most complex and drawn-out unison, this is an unpredictable stream of consciousness, that cleverly examines who we are, what we do and how we interact with the people and things around us.
Arts House, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Performance: Thursday 21 August 2014
Season: 20 – 24 August 2014
Image: photo by Jeff Busby
Review: Jennifer Piper