Contemporary dance often leaves the minutiae of a performances meaning to the individual, and Soul & Déjà Vu is no exception.
Brought to the stage for the first time by Adelaide’s newly founded Alchemy Dance Collective, both dance works share a passionate and dedicated team of performers bringing the directors choreography to life.
Filled with talented dancers who recently graduated from the Collage of The Arts, you can tell they put their all into the performances, using everything from their eyes to their toes to captivate the audience.
Soul & Déjà Vu are two separate works that take place with a 10-minute interval between them. They also use the same cast of dancers, including Jean Bennett-Hol, Caroline De Wan, Jazzy Williamson-Grey, Bridgett Mullamphy and Kunyi Wu, with Kate Burgess performing in the first dance only.
There were only a few visible first performance hiccups throughout the show, but that did not deter the dancers resolve to showcase their skill.
The first performance, Soul, is directed by co-founder of the collective, Hanna Instrell-Walker, and experiments with the ideas of spiritual manifestation and the actualization of good and bad thoughts.
The dancers were outfitted in flowing dresses in the tones of the earth and water, moving together in sync beautifully. With a great deal of group work and mirroring by the dancers, you can see their individual styles blend in interesting ways on stage.
Soul is certainly the rawer of the two works when it comes to showcasing emotion within dance, with very intense physical movements paired with the sound and lighting to encapsulate the ideas of humanity. With rough, jerky moves combined with red lights showcasing our bad thoughts, and soft, flowing movements with calmer colours showing the good.
The performance also draws upon the notion of Karma, and how that passes between people within this emotionally driven piece.
Do be aware that incense is used as a part of the show.
The second performance, Déjà Vu,is directed by another co-founder of Alchemy Dance Collective and Creative Arts (Dance) Honours graduate, Kate Burgess.
This performance encapsulates its title entirely, with an interesting combination of contemporary dance, physical theatre, and comedy. Utilising repeated sequences to give you a feeling of déjà vu as you witness the work, and over exaggerated movements leaving the audience laughing at the dancer’s antics.
The use of sound is interesting in this piece, as it re-contextualises movements as they are repeated with different music.
Déjà Vu is a very chaotic performance, with balloons flying over your head, big movements, and the interesting addition of fairy lights, the dance also explores the idea of memory.
Curiously, this work features the dancers’ taking photos of the performance with Polaroid cameras, immortalising it forever in physical memory. These photos were then placed on the wall for others to see as you exit the venue.
Located at the Shed Rehearsal Theatre, Soul & Déjà Vu is performed on a cosy stage with the seating surrounding the stage. Overflow during a sold out show is directed to the floor with a number of cushions to keep you comfortable. Street parking is also limited close to the venue, so be sure to arrive early to avoid a long walk from your car.
Overall, Soul & Déjà Vu is an incredibly passionate show filled with talented local and emerging dancers. With a debut performance like this, I look forward to seeing where the Alchemy Collective takes themselves.