Australian Dance Reviews

Transit Dance in ‘Rainbows and Elephants on the Stairway to Itchy Fruit’

Transit Dance

Transit Dance, Kensington VIC.
April 13, 2016.

What an intriguing title! What type of fruit, and why are there rainbows and elephants?! The pre-professional students of Paul and Karen Malek’s Transit Dance presented a varied contemporary dance show in the urban, eclectic space that is the new studios of Transit Dance. The troupe presented three pieces, with the first choreographed by the students themselves.

Outside In, performed by Transit’s second-year students, was an exploration of contact improvisation as the dancers responded to instructions given throughout the music in interesting ways – sometimes on their own and other times in groups. The patterns and shapes created were fun and intriguing, and one could sense the enjoyment had by the dancers when creating the work.

Seriously? came next and was the highlight of the program. Choreographed by Paul Malek, the piece was physical and confronting, demanding real maturity from the young first-year students. The dancers were commitment and authentic, showing much promise, after only training at Transit Dance for 10 weeks! The piece centred around hate, how and why it is portrayed and how it makes us feel. The music, the choreography and the execution were all intoxicating. Congratulations to all involved.

The last piece of the program was the one I had been waiting to see, the title work, Rainbows and Elephants on the Stairway to Itchy Fruit. The piece was as random, intriguing and hilarious as its title and was a fun, child-like exploration of contemporary dance. Performed by the second-year students, this work also called for maturity and convincing role-playing from the dancers. It was colourful, vibrant and full of joy, reminding us of the joy that can be found in the little things, and it was a welcome relief after the dark, emotional context of the previous work.

The evening of dance showed us what’s possible when young dancers are committed and invested in the art of dance and physical theatre. I hope to be able to see Transit’s graduating performances at the end of this year to see just how far these dancers have come, as it’s sure to be a treat.

By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.

Photo (top): A scene from Rainbows and Elephants on the Stairway to Itchy Fruit.

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