Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dance Massive kicks off with Sunstruck

Trevor Patrick. Sunstruck. 
After months of anticipation Dance Massive is finally here.With 20 dance shows/events as well as the weekend-long National Dance Forum and an industry day crammed into two weeks, I, unfortunately won't be making it to everything. I can't even if I want to - the National Dance Forum is already sold out! (There is a waiting list though - so get on it if you'd like a chance to still go.) I'll be seeing a lot though and will post prompt reviews of everything on this site.

Monday night is an unlikely night to start a festival, but the first show kicked off tonight. And you only have until Wednesday to check it out. It's Sunstruck by Helen Herbertson and Ben Cobham. It premiered in Melbourne in the Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2008 and was presented in a huge, freezing shed down at the Docklands. Now it is being transported to Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. I'd bet that the cavernous, cool nature of the work still remains, even in a smaller space. You will have to let me know, as I won't be able to catch this outing. Here is my review of Sunstruck from 2008.

Herbertson and Cobham have a long history of collaboration and their works are renowned for their depth, attention to theatrical detail and the overall environments that they design. Herbertson takes credit for devising and directing and the design and light are attributed to Cobham. There's no way that you could separate out their individual contributions through - the result is a united and deeply-considered vision.

Herbertson is deservedly regarded as one of the seminal figures in contemporary dance in Australia and I'd need much longer than a blog entry to do justice to her career. It's fitting that her work was also represented in the inaugural Dance Massive in 2009. (Morphia Series is another collaboration with  Cobham.)

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