Tag: House of Vnholy

REVIEW: Chunky Move Presents MISS UNIVERSAL

Excellent components strive to be whole

By Caitlin McGrane

I walked out of Miss Universal and needed quite a while to process what I had seen. When I walked into the performance space I was instructed to ‘interpret it’ in any way I wanted. Speaking to other audience members they were similarly told that there was no wrong place to stand but if you happened to be in the wrong place you would be moved along by the performance: all very mysterious and contemporary. The performance was innovative, eclectic and unlike anything I had seen in a dance performance: it was well conceptualised, directed and choreographed by Atlanta Eke, who also performed alongside Annabelle Balharry, Chloe Chignall and Angela Goh.

Miss Universal.jpg

The performances were excellent and I found myself variously moved, bemused and amused throughout. The trouble was for me that the work did not hang together as a coherent whole; this may not have been the intention in the first place but what it meant for me was that while there was nothing boring about the performance itself, I found myself eventually bored. I think the performance works best if you think about it as a series of visual vignettes rather than holding a narrative or theme through the performance. Chunky Move’s performance space was utilised well, and the performers demonstrated exceptional agility and versatility as they manipulated levels and the traditional space between performer and audience.

The lighting, designed by Matthew Adey from House of Vnholy, lit the space in a sickly hue that exposed imperfections on everyone’s skin, lending an ‘other worldly’ quality to the show. This ethereal quality was enhanced by the excellent and jarring score from composer Daniel Jenatsch.

Overall I really wish Miss Universal had resonated more with me, but other opinions are available and I would encourage those who appreciate contemporary dance to experience it for themselves.

Miss Universal is now showing at Chunky Move until 12 December 2015. More information and tickets from: http://chunkymove.com.au/our-works/current-repertoire/miss-universal/

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REVIEW: House of Vnholy Presents HOMME

Gentle performance art exposed and exposing

By Myron My

Created by the House of Vnholy and performed as part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe FestivalHomme is a performative piece that explores male identity and contemporary masculinity in Australia. Through a series of vignettes and in complete silence, the differences between what it means to be a male and be a female are subtly explored.

Homme

It is standing room only during the performance, with Homme enveloping virtually the whole space.  The white flooring is bare except for a number of select items, including a washing machine, a bundle of black balloons, a megaphone and a plinth. The two performers – Matthew Adey and Rebecca Jensen – are dressed in black and the only time they speak is when they ask audience members for assistance with the props.

An audio menagerie of animal sounds play out from the speakers as Adey undresses and rests atop the washing machine in tableau. In conjunction with these sounds, Adey very much resembles a reposing lion, which evokes the idea of masculinity and the animal kingdom and being the king of the “jungle”.

At one point during the performance, Adey resumes his standing position, still unclothed, and opens himself to be the object of not only Jensen’s gaze, but also ours. Later, Adey ‘battles’ with a plinth, as he hugs, clings to and succumbs to the over-powering weight of it. Like a Greek sculpture battling to return to his rightful position on a pedestal, so to is masculinity struggling to demand and retain its position of power.

The 30-minute performance moves quite slowly and at times, there is no movement happening at all. However, the striking images and vignettes give the audience the opportunity to venture inside themselves and think about the issues HOMME is raising as the performance is inviting these thoughts without letting us miss out on what comes next. HOMME asks us to question what being a “man” in contemporary society entails while hinting that the masculine and the feminine are not so different after all and perhaps there is no necessity for division and differentiation.

Venue: Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St, Northcote, 3070.

Season: Until 3 October | Sat 3.30pm and 8.30pm

Tickets: $22 Full | $20 Conc

Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival