Melbourne. Arts. Fashion

[Melbourne. Arts. Fashion] Catalogue Review

11/03/2015 JESSI LEWIS

4 stars

The artistic drive behind this performance was to “create a catalogue of humanity” an ambitious goal, but one Rawcus has achieved in this beautifully warm performance, with the honest raw and delicate here with bold statements relating to or connected with the human condition.

Let’s start with the visual elements of this work here created by Emily Barrie, of which are much the key to this performances success. With lights firstly being focused on the audience, slowly fading to reveal 8 boxes stacked 2 high, and 4 wide, through the performance these boxes become illuminated and the rear wall of each of these boxes become activated with a series of individual and singular projections, it’s a complex setting for a work and perhaps not easy to describe with being reductive.

The performance moved with ease through each of these various scenes exploring the highs and lows that one would expect from a performance that aims to explore such a broad conceptual foundation.  Hannah Bradsworth here in Catalogue, more than any of the cast, stood out, it was her performance and energy that closest embodied what it was Rawcus wanted to explore and perhaps uncover.

The use of popular music and reference was clever; with each of these ideas emerging only briefly, being chosen by the ensemble for a sense of connection felt – not too short as to become a ‘gimmick’ but also not to long as to ‘lag’. This sense of connection further endeared you to this performance and you felt like you where being allowed into the private worlds of each individual who has collaborated to create Catalogue.

More than anything, Catalogue redefines who can be and what is, a dancer –  focusing on the qualities each bring to this performance, opposed to the technique and physicality that defines a vast majority of contemporary dance works.

Of any criticism to offer up, it is the run time, clocking in at an hour and fifteen minutes. Cutting just twenty minutes would have made this work that much stronger, condensing some scenes would of perhaps provided the audience with a deeper connection. This is an impressive work and Rawcus would do well to take this back to the studio for further development.

Catalogue is playing Tuesday the 10th – Saturday the 14th of March at Arts House, Meat Market, it’s well worth seeing!

4 stars