Australian Dance Reviews

‘Bauhaus’ and ‘Out of the Blue’ at Sydney Fringe

Danielle and Alexandra's 'Out of the Blue'.
Danielle and Alexandra's 'Out of the Blue'.

Sydney Fringe 2021.
Presented online

I managed to catch two events as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival which were also part of the Stockholm Fringe — Bauhaus and Out of the Blue.

Part of the Sydney Fringe and the Stockholm Fringe Festival, Bauhaus is a strange and unsettling work by Israeli choreographer Rotem Weissman which probes the body’s need and craving for movement. The work is plotless, and the three dancers (Jin Lee, Susanna Ylikoski and Tamar Honig) perform bravely in this exacting work. It opens with a woman in a tent-like space oozing, twisting and bouncing luxuriously in a short polka dot outfit. Another dancer moves mysteriously in the shadows while a third dancer emerges with an upturned inflatable pool on her head. Angular movements follow, then a deep plié used to move fast across the floor with arms across the face, and chopping movements. 

All three move to the tent-like space, stand with hands behind their head and shake violently, then stand hands around their eyes as if looking for something. One dancer then wriggles across the floor and clambers into the pool. While she talks inaudibly to a strange voiceover, the other two do jumps to the side and coordinated floor movements. Meanwhile, the dancer in the pool poses as if in a frieze and then holding a gun. Bent knees are featured, as well as elongated yet wriggly hands and arms, before the pool is picked up and twirled. 

Rotem Weissman's 'Bauhaus'.
Rotem Weissman’s ‘Bauhaus’.

There is a sudden change to red lighting and emphatic, pumping music while skipping movements with wavy arms and a very flexible bent back are performed. Next comes triangular arms above the head and legs lifts, followed by jumping straight up and down with arms held to the side. This is followed by wriggling, twisting hand movements and knee kicks. In conclusion, the dancers move toward the audience and then the pool. Blackout. 

Part of the Sydney Fringe and the Stockholm Fringe Festival, Out of the Blue by Danielle and Alexandra, is a very challenging piece. The dancers are seemingly aloof, no interaction with the audience, yet very intense. The work is about the reality of dreams and anxiety in confronting the uncertain unknown. They are both in blue long sleeved leotards with white sneakers. The choreography and performance is incredibly demanding, requiring fierce fearlessness and a very supple back, for starters. The soundtrack is relentless and pulsating. Choreographically, much is made of the performers’ long hair at times. Sometimes, the dancers mirror each other with curved arms or perform in synch. There is the ‘bend and snap’ from Legally Blonde, robotic angular arm movements. There are twitching crawls, luxurious slides along the floor, jagged knee lifts, curved sculptural movements and, for example, bouncing and changing leg positions with their hands over their ears. They stand up, almost on demi-pointe, as if reaching for something at the point of exhaustion. The light snaps on and off, and the two performers stand there with their hand on their heads. 

By Lynne Lancaster of Dance Informa. 

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