Words by Elizabeth Sharpe (@Ummagummamumma).
Photography by David Kelly.
Finding the words that will do this production justice will be quite the challenge. Aftermath, the collaborative work between The Kite String Tangle’s Danny Harley and the Australasian Dance Collective, far exceeded all my (already very high) expectations.
We take our seats and immediately notice that the experience has begun, the scene is set; buzzing and humming industrial sonic waves, a light fog in the air, the fluorescent lights above us repeatedly and softly dimming and increasing in brightness. It already seems as though this show is most apt for the Brisbane Powerhouse environment and its iconic distressed brick wall stands as always, one massive masterpiece of a backdrop. The lone item on display in the centre of the floor is Harley’s workstation. A round riser, complete with a strategic layout of stage lights, monitors, keyboards, synths, a single drum, an electric guitar… everything the Brisbane electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist needs to weave his magic on this opening night.
“Do you remember yet?”
Harley has successfully curated a virtually seamless instrumental storyline of a soundtrack that is completely complimentary of the incredibly talented cast of dancers that are moving to it – together they create the powerful fusion of energies that allows your mind to progress through the productions narrative. Amy Hollingsworth is the Collective’s Artistic Director and also serves as co-creator for this show with cast member Jack Lister. Accompanied by Josephine Weise, Jake McLarnon, Lonii Garnons-Williams, Chase Clegg Robinson, and Jag Popham, the cast combine to utilise collaborative and group work mixed with singular and coupled showcase moments. The fluttering between smooth flowing and staccato gestures and motions. I’m not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination but I’m finding some of these movements oddly relatable and nostalgic.
It is truly a breath of fresh air to witness dancers performing to a live audience whilst also being accompanied by live produced music. There is an added drama and tension from this factor alone. The use of light is phenomenal. In fact, the lighting, stage space, and the brick wall are all used in remarkable and unexpected ways to emphasise the narrative throughout the performance. Harley himself is also playing a vital visual and movement role in the performance – remaining centre stage throughout and sometimes – his riser platform occasionally rotating at key moments.
The narrative… as with all art, it really is left to the consumer’s interpretation. I personally felt I was watching a deep, harrowing tale being played out before us. What am I meant to be remembering? The title itself eludes to the subject matter of the show – the impact of an event or series of events – repercussions and consequences. People were hurt, hard lessons were learned, or perhaps they weren’t? Volatile situations where relationships were tested, connections were made and some were severed. There’s an overwhelming sadness and mystery behind the music and movements. As hectic and unpredictable as a clubbing night out in the valley, so much so that it’s flashback inducing for this writer. There’s a “Sleep. Dance. Rave. Repeat” vibe that I just can’t shake. The nightclub feel is emphasised by the backlit silhouette outline glow of Harley in typical DJ stance, bobbing head, turning knobs as if standing over a cauldron, concocting something mysterious and magical.
The sound quality for the duration of the show is 11/10 second to none – it can’t be faulted. Absolute divine immersion. They’ve nailed it. I notice my seat moving – and although loud, it’s not the vibrations from the music – it’s from the people in my row bobbing their heads and tapping their feet to the music – infectious.
“Have you forgotten yet?”
This production has stayed with me. I’m still processing and it may very well be the case that I will continue to look back indefinitely – unquestionably as of one of the best I have had the pleasure of attending. Highly recommended that you catch this production during it’s extremely limited run over this Valentine’s Weekend.
8pm, Friday, 12 Feb, 2021
8pm, Saturday, 13 Feb, 2021
4pm, Sunday, 14 Feb, 2021
To book, phone (07) 3358 8600 or brisbanepowerhouse.org
Tickets on sale NOW
All bookings will incur a $6.90 transaction fee.
Thanks to Australasian Dance Collective