Two richly developed productions from the closing weekend of Tempo 2014 leave memorable images behind them. Presented in Q Loft, both have had thorough attention given to every element they make use of, and both have charismatic performers who keep the audience attention on them at all times.
Tassel Me This, a captivating hour of dance choreographed and performed by Jessie McCall and Shani Dickins to a soundscore by James Risbey, is as promised "a glittering dance theatre work" which employs a wondrous array of sparkling and shimmering curtains and two memorably sequined garments designed by Fraser Mildon, a golden shroud for Dickins and a short flirty cape for McCall.
There's also gold sequin lip gloss, and shimmery body powder, golden gumboots, and what looks like gold dust, which is liberally distributed at various points in time from a elaborately decorated decanter with help of turbo strength air blasts.
Despite the superficial veneer of bling and spectacularity, and the somewhat hedonistic personas assumed by the two performers who teasingly lark about much of the time, there is a more serious subtext to all this, a story about two friends who support one another's efforts to become less dependent on particular objects, memories and relationships ... while still remaining best of friends.
Eye, conceived and performed by dancer Luke Hanna with live original music played by Jason Wright and produced by Brother and Sisters is, as the promo material promises, "a journey where growth, perception and identity are the toys in a world of confusion". It is also a work in which we come to experience the extraordinary physicality of Hanna, with a strong and sinewy body which has the capacity for extreme movements and eye-blinkingly fast transitions from one state to another.
The journey begins when the naked Hanna emerges ever so slowly from a pile of earth, as if breaking out of some primordial egg, rolling and twisting in his earth bed, convulsing and flailing his arms, raising his tattooed legs and buttocks into the air. In due course he emerges into the world beyond his mound, slowly gaining control of his body and subsequently working his way through indicative phases of development marked by his donning of loose cotton shorts, then a long sleeved shirt, and finally trousers, with shirt and trousers previously worn by the musician.
Along the way there is an extended section where he seems to channel all the major rock heroes - guitarists, singers, drummers, movers and shakers, with iconic poses and sequences flickering through his body like unceasing sequential film clips.
In the closing moments he says he needs to know what we see. I am sure every member of the audience will have a different answer. I saw a man on a quest that has no end, taking him deeper in all directions - physical, emotional, spiritual.
What: Closing weekend of Tempo 2014 Eye by Luke Hanna and Brothers & Sisters Tassel Me This by Jessie McCall and Shani Dickins
Where: Q Loft