Keep Everything (Chunky Move)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Powerhouse Theatre
July 31 – August 2
There is a five minute lockout at the start of Chunky Move’s “Keep Everything”. Initially you may wonder why. As you look through the smoky haze of the darkened stage to what appears to be a pile of debris, little seems to happen. It is, however, deceptively anti-climactic.
From the post-apocalyptic introduction, three grubby, feral figures begin to move. It is unclear if they are human or animals as they lumber about the space speaking in grunts and babbles that slowly grow into words and phrases. Individually, their movement amplifies from wild to fluid to robotic as the show prophesises about the cyclical nature of humanity. Collectively, the trio of dancers (Benjamin Hancock, Lauren Langlois and Alisdair Macindoe) soon morph from three into one beast, in a performance of stunning discipline and precision. Each dancer is a revelation in their physicality, commitment and intensity, as they mesmerise and entertain as animals and model-esque mannequins alike. And Langlois, in particular, is a performer of impressive strength and character, even when performing hilariously as a dog.
As Director and Choreographer Antony Hamilton notes, the work began with the premise that from a single point of departure, an endless array of events can unfold, if we allow it. Indeed, as humans we are compelled to seek out patterns and meanings. And “Keep Everything” is a show filled with content rich for such interpretation. This is a work of much precision and nuance, not just in its single moments, but in a demanding, lengthy, synchronised counting phase that is equally absurd and impressive.
Although there are long sections beyond just the introduction, where there isn’t any dancing, the anticipation of what is to follow sustains audience interest throughout each of the show’s phases. And the music, of joint composers and ARIA award winning artists, Kim Moyes and Julian Hamilton (of The Presets), at once pulsating dance track and industrial throb, is memorable in its perfection for the piece.
“Keep Everything” is an innovative and compelling production of dance and performance, guaranteed to make you want to see more from this Melbourne-based company. In both its presentation of a portrait of humanity and show of technical and artistic variety, it certainly has all the right moves.