Aether

One of the nicest things about having a partner who is just as into dancing as me is that we get to go to dance performances together. On Wednesday night we went to see a show by local choreographer Lucy Guerin called Aether. The promo material says this about the show:

Aether is inspired by the increasingly invasive onslaught of communications we receive through email, phone, newspaper, television, billboards, radio, mail, fax, internet, text messages and myriad other forms for disseminating information. From devastating world events to advertisements for increased libido, we inhabit a world where information reaches us in many forms and often overwhelms us with its intensity and quantity.

What it doesn’t say is that it’s actually also pretty funny. The aim was no doubt to show something about how ludicrous it is to live in a mediated world, but they managed to achieve such a level of satirical comment that it was obvious that they were not taking themselves too seriously. I really enjoyed the performance also for the movement and technique — a sort of mixture between Cunningham and contact improvisation partner work as far as I could tell. The first half concentrates mainly on depicting electronic communication using stoccato, sometimes robotic, movements, while the second turns its attention to the interlocutors themselves in their frustrated mediated interactions. The dancers go to address each other, but instead of speaking or gesturing they emit strange (and usually silly) noises while using whole body movements to show what they mean. I belly laughed most of my way through the second half and so did Lotte.

Aether is playing at the North Melbourne Town Hall until March the 27th. There seem to be double passes being given away over at The Program, but I can’t tell if they are all gone yet. Check it out.

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