Dancing on the Edge
Festival Of Contemporary Dance 2009

Date and Venue 18 July 2009 | Firehall Arts Centre

Choreography Josh Martin & Shay Kuebler, Music Daedelus plus others Performers The 605 Collective: Josh Martin, Shay Kuebler, Sasha Kozak, Lisa Gelley & Maiko Miyauchi

Reviewer John Jane

With Audible, an original highly detailed, non-linear choreography by Josh Martin and Shay Kuebler, The 605 Collective take dance audiences to a ‘brave new world’ that stretches the limits of their own extreme physicality.

Audible is all about connections – good and bad. Set to Daedelus’s hypnotic industrial score that features the use of a monome (an open ended performance interface for electronic music) the work runs the entire gamut of technical difficulty. At first glance, the dancers’ movements appear random and abstruse, but on closer attention the precisely timed and controlled dance syntax is remarkably evocative, creating a visual flux that challenges the audience to define the dance’s overall shape.

In Audible, the five members (Three men and two women) of the group take roughly equal responsibility for the execution of the dance vocabulary, with each dancer relying on their individual strengths. The dancers arrived at The 605 Collective (its name taken from the apartment number of their studio) from distinctively different backgrounds. Shay Kuebler and Josh Martin are exponents of hip-hop and ballet jazz; Lisa Gelley studied urban dance, developing her strong work ethic on CelebrityTM cruise ships as a show dancer. Maiko Miyauchi started in classical ballet and trained at the Goh Ballet Academy.

Watching the daring and flawless challenges of the aesthetic group choreography, I was reminded of Édouard Lock’s flamboyant style. At times movements were smooth, almost aqueous; in other instances, movements were jerky and seemingly involuntary as if the dancer had been hit by a conducted energy gun. Solo and duo performances seemed less purposeful, perhaps intended to give off-stage dancers a well-earned breather.

The five performers are indeed highly talented, each bringing a separate and distinct dimension to the production. The capacity audience responded to their passion with generous and supportive applause.

© 2009 John Jane