Friday, 1 October 2004

St. Kilda Bangs, October 1, 2004

St. Kilda Bangs
 Melbourne Fringe Festival
Theatreworks  Sept 22 to Oct 9, 2004 at various times
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Oct 1, 2004

St Kilda Bangs boasts the catchiest show title for the Fringe Festival. It is a program of diverse short works in theatre, dance, cabaret and comedy.

The program comprises: Auntie Klava's Kiss, about a Russian holy fool; Binned, a surreal two-hander; Flush, a cabaret about gambling; Spin Out, a satire of movies; and Life in a Jam Jar, about the mythical Sybils.

In Bound and Aoroi are two short movement works. In Bound is devised and performed by four women. (Alice Palermo, Kath Papas, Carla Rinaudo, Kate Sumner)

The images and movement are based in the domestic environment of women, or more specifically, mothers and daughters.

Innumerable empty teacups and saucers line the edges of the stage, defining this domestic location.  The clatter of dishwashing is part of the soundscape. Movements are repetitive, having their foundation in everyday actions such as pressing, washing, wringing, stretching and cleaning.

The opening sees one woman casually explaining a recipe for frittata as she unravels a huge pile of heavy, abnormally thick yarn. Another collects it into a skein while a third knits it into an enormous scarf using her arms as knitting needles.

The piece falls into several sections. Some are cheerful and communal, other are frantic and alienating.  Women fall to the floor, tumble into each other, living the half dark of the dim flame of a match.

Aoroi, the second piece by Rochelle Carmichael and Paul Schembri, involves more complex choreography and engaging physical imagery. Carmichael is a delightful dancer with great versatility and a compelling presence.

She and her very animated partner, Schembri, begin in semi darkness with bicycle lamps on their heads as if in a mine-shaft. They move like some peculiar subterranean or nocturnal creatures: lizard, marsupial or bird.

Their dance shifts from the spasmodic movements of the underground creatures to a fluid and sexual duet on a chair. She wears bird feathers. He pursues her, picking and pecking at them. They are alternately partners seeking connection and rivals in competition,

The final scene returns to the semi darkness and the fractured movement of the opening.

LOOK FOR: Check program for times for all shows: In Bound, Aoroi, Auntie Klava's Kiss, Binned, Flush. Spin Out, Life in a Jam Jar.

By Kate Herbert

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