National Theatre, St Kilda
September 8 2012
By Rebecca Martin.
Immersed is one of those wonderful nights when Melbourne’s dance community comes together to share their work and float in the glory of what is a very deep pool of talent. While Immersed is a celebration of dance, tonight it was all about spaghetti.
Created by the brilliant Paul Malek and his company Collaboration The Project, Immersed has been running yearly since 2009, giving upcoming as well as established performers the chance to shine and also to see what else is going on in the local dance scene. This year we saw 23 pieces from some of our best full time dance schools, solo artists, youth companies, and seasoned groups.
A rich partnership between Malek, Adrian Ricks, Yvette Lee, and Nadia Tornese opened proceedings and set the bar incredibly high for the rest of the performances. The Space Dance and Arts Centre presented a strong piece created by Los Angeles’ Meredith Kerr which was closely followed by the award winning piece One choreographed by Rain Francis and danced by Rain and Lucky Dance Theatre. Rain is certainly a choreographer to watch and her company is full of technically sound and fearless dancers. Dance World Studios brought a taste of Asia to the National Theatre stage in an epic piece that saw the dancers clad in kimonos and wielding parasols. Fortunately, this wasn’t an eisteddfod piece, but rather a high energy and engaging dance that used the Asian theme cleverly and was a definite stand out.
Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance and Patrick Studios Australia presented loud and exciting pieces that saw the stage full of dancers. They were incredibly effective in getting the audience to cheer and the dancers to perform at their best.
I was very happy to see tap and Irish dance get a guernsey, and to also to see the talented Benjamin Hancock on stage. He performed a solo piece on a circular piece of carpet which he didn’t stray from. Hancock was mesmerising.
The undoubted highlight of the night was the unexpected finale to the first half of the evening. Spaghetti Slobs performed by Miss Friby and choreographed by Elizabeth Dawson-Smith, saw the two dancers in a genius display of comic timing and flying spaghetti. It was unexpected and brilliant.
Malek and all of Melbourne should be bursting with pride at the amount of talent Melbourne is producing. We have dancers, choreographers, companies, schools, and producers of the highest calibre and I certainly left the theatre inspired.