Australian Dance Reviews

Beauty – Restless Dance Theatre

Space Theatre
Adelaide Festival Centre
2 -10 July 2010

By Naarah Hallifax.

With Beauty, Restless Dance Theatre presented a work which certainly reached their goal of ‘creating a world that inspires you to look a little further and perhaps question your looking.’

Featuring five female dancers (four of which have a disability), the opening images where uniquely beautiful as the dancers with soft flowing gowns formed tableaus like renaissance art set to music.  Aesthetically pleasing, the first moments indicated to the audience that they were about to see something quite distinct.

So much was expressed through the simplicity of the movement. It clearly displayed how individuals conform to the expected and sometimes restrictive confines of what is called ‘beauty’. The piece discussed the things that go with this label, such as women staring at each other either critically or in admiration, and the whispers that are muttered if an individual dares to be quite simply, individual.  Raising the question ‘what forms beauty?’, we were then shown in the diversity of the dancers, that each in their differences are all beautiful and that they all carry their own unique qualities as dancers and as women.

Refreshingly and unexpected, the final moments began as water trickled out from behind one dancer who was positioned in a fountain-like sculpture of a bust. The last section of dance took place in water as the dancers transitioned to create a new sense of beauty. Between the sound of the water as they danced, the effects of the lighting upon the water, the costumes and the movement of the dancers themselves, we were presented with a crescendo of something undoubtedly beautiful and stunning.

I was thoroughly impressed with the sophisticated and intelligent representation and discussion of ‘beauty’.  I really felt that as the audience, our minds were constantly challenged by what was presented.  It was fantastic to be transported through a fusion of movement, sights and sounds and I came away feeling like I had witnessed something meaningful.  Well done to the Restless Dance Theatre for their ability to speak volumes in such a visually striking way.

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