You might need to have some dancing context to fully appreciate this purely physical work, but if that sounds like a good self-descriptor (not to mention if you just want an interesting start to a night out on the town) then this might just be the show for you.
The young artists of Mad Dance House waste no time in revealing their talents in new production On the Spot, and it’s plain to see the elation in each as they work their way through the stage and crowd. Fortitude Valley’s Laruche seems a perfect match for the event and allows for interesting use of space that highlights the locations’ features – dancing on bartops, impressive footwork on staircases, working with and around decor (all the while within touching distance). The cast list reads like a who’s who of popular dance crews, noting their televised performances and various accolades and all appears justified – skill is in ample supply as they spin a simple tale of a “boy’s night out”, trying to woo “that one girl” in the room.
In the context of the Anywhere Theatre festival, the anywhere part is certainly covered, but it’s the theatre aspect that is lacking. Let me preface by saying i’m no dancer, my twerking rivers runneth dry. Plot is one of the few things I can observe, and sure, there’s plot – but for the layman, a story expressed through dance alone can only go so far. Though initially enough to pique your interest it begins to drag in the works’ latter stages as plot gives way something akin to a dance showcase – too bad really, as well-planned, skillful dance with this level of showmanship is something I wish was more prevalent within Brisbane nightlife (or maybe i’m just not going to the right bars).
So from the perspective of someone who barely watched So you can think you can be the next dance superstar of Australia’s talent: a fun morsel and surely entertaining for the avid fans, but the uninitiated may want to seek out meatier fare.
Reviewed by Jason Lomas
This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the performance on May 13.