By Leeor Adar
Nightdance is the most rhythmically breathtaking performance I’ve seen this year, and potentially of all time. It’s uniquely its own thing, and you simply cannot tear your eyes away from it.
The Arts House space transforms into a nightclub that would make the most progressive amongst dancers feel the need to move towards it. A floor stretched in midnight fabric, the bodies of three dancers begin their almost alien movements towards ecstasy.
Melanie Lane directs, and her fellow dancers co-create the work. Performers Lilian Steiner, Gregory Lorenzutti and Lane herself are astonishing professionals in their craft, and Nightdance is a testament to their talent and vigour as dancers. Inspired undoubtedly from her dual base of Berlin/Melbourne, Lane offers us something refreshing and exciting.
The stamina of the performers mirrors in a short space of time those clubbers who can go all night, never tired and driven by the energy of the space. Chris Clark’s sound design and composition of electronica are deep and intense – you can really feel it in your bones, urging you to move. It’s totally cathartic and I find myself envying the appearance of their total abandon and equally contained movements.
Spanning a multitude of genres, the piece as fluid as the dancing. Once we think Nightdance is just another erotic journey to club land, we jump into cabaret, and then we return to something more alien, darker, and frighteningly futuristic. It captures optimism and the downright weird. Inspired by the clubs of Berlin, Lane’s work really captures a scene that projects the future of connection through rhythm – I think about an almost Aldous-Huxley-inspired Brave New World, where the collective reaches heightened states of consciousness through rhythm and a primal urge towards something unspoken.
Nightdance thrills us a little, and arches our brows equally. The sudden appearance of a glittering conehead is totally offbeat, and makes the audience laugh. The piece moves through the ages of time and dance, and we find ourselves about 60 minutes later into the millennium which PVC dreams are made of.
This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Ben ‘Bosco’ Shaw’s lighting design might send some attendees into hiding, but those like myself who love to be immersed in the experience of club land will find it totally exhilarating. Lane and her team have successfully produced something hyper-modern and totally memorable.
Image by Bryony Jackson