Friday, March 18, 2011

The Revery Alone

Billy Cowie
Dance Massive

Perhaps the clue is in the misspelled title of this melodic work.

‘The Revery Alone’ is one of three 3D installations from Stereoscopic Director/choreographer/composer Billy Cowie in the Dance on Film program at Arts House, and it is fascinating in both its abstraction and illusion.

From the comfort of strategically placed mats around a darkened room, we watch as a naked dancer appears to hang from the ceiling above, her hands and feet gripping handles as if she is fighting the gravitational pull to fall. Performer Eleonore Ansari mesmerises with her slow, controlled movements and feline postures. The screen is her stage, confining her range of movement in both breadth and depth, almost claustrophobically, as hands and feet pass from hold to hold, and her body sways and stretches to its absolute muscular limit.

The background score is soothing, repetitive, mellifluous, and it lulls like a cradlesong. This is not music from this time or this place; perhaps it is something played in deep space and the dancer is truly moving through another dimension or gravity. Maybe it is a chimera, after all, and the music is something only dreamed.

‘The Revery Alone’ is a study in movement, in grace, in the corporeality of dance on film. But the question remains…is the dancer really hanging there or is this a trick of the camera? She bends backwards, her face upside down, her eyes looking directly into mine and there is a slow understanding that passes between us: the only important thing is, the body must move.

Wendy Newton

Attendance at Dance Massive (Melbourne) was made possible through the arts@work Critical Acclaim program. Critical Acclaim is an arts@work (Arts Tasmania) professional development program aimed at increasing the breadth of critical discourse and discussion in both the arts industry and the public arena.

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