In a rush to get to the Victorian Arts Centre on St Kilda Rd, I weaved in and out of traffic to join a friend and his friend (a former dancer) to see celebrated choreographer Merce Cunningham’s Dance Company perform eyeSpace. In the end, I wondered why I rushed to get to the Arts Centre at all.
Although my friend and I had no idea of what we were about to see, I walked in with an open mind and ready to be inspired by this collection of contemporary dance pieces.
The performance bought together three different pieces spanning over 50 years, namely Suite for Five, the high anticipated eyeSpace and finally BIPED. The dancers were well controlled and although primarily danced individually, they worked in harmony somehow to create an interesting performance.
The highly anticipated and interactive eyeSpace combined various sounds and an iPod for each audience member which played music that was as varied as the dance moves themselves. The BIPED performance was the most visually interesting as it combined the dance moves of each performer with computer graphics which added new layers every minute.
Although I’m no expert on contemporary dance, the choreography was interesting, yet the music (or rather the sound waves) distracted from the performance. Unfortunately the performance was not engaging enough for me overall, so much so that I felt myself nod off a couple of times during the final piece. There was something lacking but it could be a combination of the choreography and the music.
It must have only been me and my friend who missed something completely, as Merce Cunningham was given a standing ovation when he came out onto the stage.
There is a final Merce Cunningham performance tonight, but the Melbourne International Arts Festival continues until Saturday. And although this wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea in dance, I appreciate the opportunity to have seen the piece and want to go to see more things during this popular arts festival.