This was a wonderful double billing of two completely different dance works – both visually stunning with clever choreography, displaying the talents of our youth. The Mechanics Institute was buzzing with a large crowd, keen to see these pieces which were proudly supported by the Australian Council for the Arts and Frankston Arts Centre.

‘In Transit’ was an engaging piece set in an airport where the concepts of waiting, mingling and rushing were explored. The scene was set powerfully in the opening sequence with its unified movement, silence and red controller lights with the performers wearing high visibility overalls. The repetitious actions of fixing the planes then moved into the performers becoming the passengers in a seamless slow motion segment which moved into the transit lounge. The 7 talented dancers continued to utilize the whole space in very smart staging that included small intricate movements by some and larger more contemporary shapes by others. It was a visual feast which captured the many facets and characters that inhabit the world of an airport. I did feel it got a bit lost in the middle but the piece quickly picked up momentum again with the creative choreography of the placing of chairs everywhere and the switching of them whilst a voice-over listed various countries. The ‘wonder’ of travel was certainly captured by this effective dance work.

After a short interval where the seating was changed to become theatre in the round, ‘The Golden Age’ began. This was a mesmerizing piece with a strong tribal feel, full of  inspiring precision movement. The group of dancers acted like a swarm as they moved in synchronicity towards the lit area where the energy built up into a frenzy and celebration. The lighting threw shadows onto the walls and the beat of the music took over, leading up to the distribution of gold cubes and this is when the piece transcended to another level for me. The line formation became totally captivating as the slow repeated movements were performed with such focus and simplicity that I was transfixed. The close proximity of the performers added to the intensity of the piece which became more heightened with the fast paced walking and turning. It was very powerful and stunning to watch. There were so many moments of clever choreography like the tight circle where the central figure kept being swapped and the slow movements within the fast walking. I was spellbound by this piece and completely in awe of the hours of rehearsal that must have taken place to present such a perfectly timed and powerful performance.

Well done to both companies, LYDT and Yellow Wheel for these inventive and captivating dance works that showcased our youth and the artform of dance. They are ones to watch in the future.

By Melissa Learmonth