Review: Here After, NIDA (NSW)

Lynne Lancaster

A meditative new work from Limitless Dance Company.
Review: Here After, NIDA (NSW)

Dancers Jennifer Horvath, Georgia Sekulla and Bree Timms. Image: Seshanka Samarajiwa.

The latest work from Limitless Dance Company, titled Here After, had its world premiere at NIDA.

Directed, choreographed and conceived by Mitchell Turnbull in collaboration with the dancers, it explores life’s relationships and inner journeys and links to the spiritual quest. ‘From the moment we are born we begin to die,’ the program declares.

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The six wonderful dancers (Abigail Gasson, Jennifer Horvath, Georgia Sekulla, Bree Timms, Karina Cruickshank, and Maddie Tratt, who performs a challenging solo) give an inspired, energetic performance that at times washes over you in waves of relentless repeated movement. At times it feels dream-like as it follows the sequence of life to death.

The show opens with one of the dancers lying on the floor. Slowly, we see the others slither  into the light. There is no set as such. Much depends on the stark dramatic lighting by Peter Rubie, which at times narrows to a single corridor of light, or divides the floor into squares of light, sometimes highlighting a single dancer, sometimes creating a chess board effect.  White light is perhaps used to represent an ethereal, otherworldly element while the human life cycle seems represented by a blue wash. A short burst of red light in one segment creates a powerful contrast. Paul Tinsley’s score pulsates, thrums and throbs relentlessly where appropriate.

Turnbull’s choreography is demanding. Here After is mostly an ensemble piece, with some breakout solos and small groups. It is full of flowing, rippling movement. In the first half there is a sense of coil, tension and release with use of deep plié and angular elbows while the dancers wear blue costumes of sleeveless tops and long trousers. In the second half, the six dancers are in short white dresses. There is pulsating, sculptural writhing by the group as an ensemble – stretching and undulating, slipping and sliding. There is also a repeated phrase of movement incorporating a jump and roll. In one section, the top balcony comes into play as one of the dancers glides mysteriously across.

All in all, Here After is a meditative, thought-provoking work from Limitless Dance Company.

4 stars ★★★★

Here After
3-4 May 2019  
Playhouse Theatre, NIDA

Limitless Dance Company
Conceived and Directed: Mitchell Turnbull
Choreography: 
Mitchell Turnbull in collaboration with Limitless Dance Company Dancers
Dancers:
 Abigail Gasson, Jennifer Horvath, Georgia Sekulla, Bree Timms, Maddie Tratt and Karina Cruickshank
Composer:
 Paul Tinsley 
Lighting Design: 
Peter Rubie

About the author

Lynne Lancaster is a Sydney based arts writer who has previously worked for Ticketek, Tickemaster and the Sydney Theatre Company. She has an MA in Theatre from UNSW, and when living in the UK completed the dance criticism course at Sadlers Wells, linked in with Chichester University.