Review: Recital, Riverside Theatres Parramatta

A striking and most unusual blend of cutting edge contemporary dance and music.
Review: Recital, Riverside Theatres Parramatta

Richard Cilli in Recital.

An impressive cohort of Australian talent come together in a challenging, exciting and exhausting performance.

With superb direction and choreography by Gideon Obarzanek and magnificient composition and sound design by Australia’s leading electro-pop composer Paul Mac, Recital is the fusion of talents from award-winning percussionist Claire Edwardes and dancer Richard Cilli.

This performance plays with silence, while rhythm and form are investigated in various ways – blurring the boundaries between dance and music.

The show opens with both performers walking on stage and switching on metronomes which are place on the floor in front of them. Both performers are dressed conservatively: glasses, white shirts and dark slacks.

The relationship between the two performers is rather ambiguous, slipping between coolly professional and quite intense and intimate. Both performers were magnificent with their solos, and shone as a duet. For the most part there is very little interaction with the audience but we are dazzled nonetheless.

Edwardes at various points played some most unusual instruments. The audience was entranced by an Aluphone (a brand new shiny aluminium pitched bell instrument from Denmark), as well as a Waterphone (an inharmonic acoustic percussion instrument). The Waterphone looked like a surrealist half opened cage that was suspended from the ceiling at first, and then Edwardes detached it and played it with a string bow.

Claire Edwardes and Richard Cilli in Recital.

Obarzanek’s choreography is quite assertively contemporary. There were lots of walking in unison, and walking backwards, fast runs and so on. Feet are mostly always parallel, or even at times turned in. The work was rigorous and exhilarating with the choreography containing runs on the spot, jumps, shoulder rolls, bouncing up and down, and even a handslapping duet.

Cilli wowed with his solos, which were taut and vertical yet full of swirling circles. Paul Mac and Edwardes' electronic soundscape was at times haunting, pulsating and flowing and other times bubbly, then transforming to meditative and trance-like.

Recital culminates in a thrilling and dynamic conclusion with Edwardes on drums and Cilli in an exhausting, explosive and frenetic solo. Recital is an exhilarating performance throughout.

Rating: 3 ½ stars ★★★☆
FORM Dance Projects and Riverside present
Dance Bites 2019

Performers Richard Cilli and Claire Edwardes 
Director Gideon Obarzanek 
Lighting Design Bosco Shaw 
Composition and Sound Design Paul Mac and Claire Edwardes Producer Erin Milne

28 February - 2 March 2019
Riverside Theatres Parramatta

Lynne Lancaster

Monday 4 March, 2019

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.