Friday, 29 March 2013

Little Dances, March 27, 2013 ***1/2

By Nicky Marr, presented by La Mama
La Mama Courthouse, March 27 until April 14, 2013
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 
Star rating: *** ½
Reviewer:  Kate Herbert on March 27

Review also published in Herald Sun online on Thurs March 28. KH 

"A clever parody of modern dance."
If you recognize the flick, slash and punch of contemporary dance, you’ll giggle and applaud Nicky Marr’s Little Dances, a witty, clownish parody of modern choreography and its indulgent justification of pointless content.

Marr is warm and engaging as she self-narrates her life in dance, using physical, visual and verbal comedy with dance technique.

In an empty space, she begins as her five-year old self – “The best dancer in the world” – then, in a cunning feat of dancer-meets-clown, she twirls her way out of a dozen petticoats until she is left in a black slip.

Her depiction of the pretentious language of contemporary dancers validating their meaningless, repetitive wriggling is hilarious, particularly if you’ve seen any minimalist dance or performance art in which nothing much happens.

It is inspiring to witness Marr transform her “little dances” of everyday moments – waiting for a tram, slipping over – into simple, compelling, contemporary choreography.

Her portrayal of a creative dance class is a hoot, with its earnest teacher side-coaching students to become a flock of birds or a flange of baboons.

Marr cunningly deconstructs Kung Fu moves, ridicules nightclub dance music, then illuminates the complex relationship women have with high heels: the elegance and imbalance, the pain and seduction.

If you’ve ever swanned around in a tutu or performed a Merce Cunningham contraction, Marr’s Little Dances is for you.

By Kate Herbert

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