Jack Ziesing performs Seven Ages
Jack Ziesing performs Seven Ages Fiona Cullen

Solo dancers offer confronting purity and richness

FROM wonderment to wild abandon to wisdom.

Each shoe Jack Ziesing plucked from a gorgeous old trunk cleverly represented the cycles of life we all experience.

But it was the way he richly illustrated each stage from giddy childish glee to the battles of later life that made this dance routine resonate so strongly.

There are so many stages within that journey where we gain independence.

First steps.

First words.

Going to school.

Driving a car.

Pursuing a career.

But how often do we truly let ourselves stand centre stage - alone and vulnerable?

The dancers in the SOLO Festival of Dance are brave creatures.

The bold, raw emotion they exhibit through contemporary dance is incredible.

It can be challenging and confronting too, at times, so this kind of dance is not for everyone.

But as long as you go into the Expressions Dance Company festival with an open mind, it can be eye-opening to see how powerful one person can be through body movement alone.

Alice Hinde performing Together into the Abyss
Alice Hinde performing Together into the Abyss Fiona Cullen

Of course, there is accompanying music, grunts and occasional props too.

But it is the sheer strength and control these dancers have over their bodies, and the superb choreography that guides them, that will keep your eyes glued throughout most of the performances.

Seven Ages, mentioned above, was a stand-out with choreography from dancer Ziesing and Natalie Weir, who recently choreographed a piece for the Network Ten show So You Think You Can Dance piece.

The promiscuity and seduction of QUT student Cloudia Elder in the Human Fly was delightfully light and fun.

The comedy injected into Daniel Jaber's Anatomically Incorrect, danced brilliantly by Daryl Brandwood, was a fabulous perspective on classical ballet, and provided much needed contrast to some of the darker pieces shared with the intimate crowd at the Cremorne Theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

The raw emotion from Dancenorth's Alice Hinde, in Together into the Abyss, and Australian Dance Theatre's Kimball Wong, in Morphology, made for compelling viewing.

Between each performance, the lights come on so the audience can read the blurbs for each dance.

Some pieces can be difficult to understand without these prompts.

But don't be afraid to give into your own interpretation.

The powerful, almost violent, emotional and physical journey these pieces from Hinde and Wong can take you on might not match what you read.

Instead they can be a reflection of your own life experiences or those of the people around you.

But that is what dance theatre is all about.

Benjamin Chapman gave us a stunning sneak peak of the next show in EDC's 2014 collection - Red Shoes.

In stark contrast to the loud, powerful and aggressive dance performance from some of colleagues on opening night, Chapman used gentle, but strong, lines to share a message of redemption and forgiveness.

SOLO Festival of Dance continues tonight - Saturday May 17 - from 7.30pm.

It continues from Thursday May 22 to Saturday May 24 with new guest artists from The Australian Ballet, Chunky

Move as well as Shaun Parker & Company.

Book at expressionsdancecompany.org.au  or phone 136 246.

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