Dance / “Power”, QL2 Dance, artistic director Ruth Osborne. At Theatre 3 until October 19. Reviewed by LEN POWER.
ALWAYS a show to look forward to each year, QL2 Dance’s “Chaos” project – this year entitled “Power” – once again focused on young and less-experienced dancers from age 8 to 19.
The project is an entry point to the unique programs offered at QL2 Dance and can also be a progression into the Quantum Leap youth dance ensemble. This year’s performance involved a team of 48 young dancers augmented with some senior Quantum Leap dancers.
“Power” consists of seven sections that zero in on various aspects of power in our lives. Artistic director Ruth Osborne choreographed the opening and closing sections and the other sections were choreographed by Steve Gow, Olivia Fyfe and Alana Stenning, who are youth programs alumni and are now teaching at QL2 as well as dancing professionally in the Australian Dance Party.
The first section defines what power actually is. Subsequent sections show power in its physically demanding sense, then the power of superheroes, an uprising against the abuse of power, the power of a group to change the course of a story(and, therefore, history) and empowerment for the good of everyone.
The final section is a joyous celebration of the power of being part of a group of performers. The show is presented in a continuous performance moving seamlessly from one section to the next.
Highlights of the show included the startling and fun “And I’m…”, choreographed by Alana Stenning, in which certain cast members transition to become superheroes by gravely stepping into pairs of brief blue pants like those worn by Superman.
Then there was the sheer physicality of “Uprising”, choreographed by Steve Gow, with waves of dancers hurling themselves at opposing forces. It was followed by an imaginative and unexpectedly very funny “I Rule” fairy story, choreographed by Olivia Fyfe and Alana Stenning, in which the cast gang up powerfully on the narrator and refuse to accept the conventional happy-ever-after ending.
“Canis Canem Edit”, choreographed by Steve Gow, showcased the power of team work with the senior dancers performing together superbly with the young dancers. The closing section, “We Are Powerful Together!”, choreographed by Ruth Osborne, was an appropriately happy ending to the show.
The large cast performed with skill and energy throughout. The choreographers set some quite challenging moves for the group that were all handled with assurance and accuracy. It must have been hard work getting it all up to standard, but you can clearly see the joy of performance in the participants’ faces. Once again, this was an admirable, entertaining and memorable evening of dance.