Whenever I see a performance by Chunky Move, I find myself either absolutely loving it (Complexity of Belonging) or wondering what the hell it is I am watching (It Cannot Be Stopped). Fortunately, their newest show as part of Dance Massive falls firmly in to the former.
Set in the forecourt of the Malthouse Theatre, Artistic Director and choreographer Anouk van Dijk, brings the city landscape, an urban environment and three extremely talented dancers together in a stunning performance that makes the audience think about the fleeting nature of live and life's moments.
Provided with a set of headphones and a poncho (damn you Melbourne weather!), we take our seat and as the hauntingly meditative music begins to come through, you realise the performance has already started at the far end of the forecourt.
The three dancers - James Vu Anh Pham, Tara Jade Samaya, Niharika Senapati - are phenomenal. I am constantly in awe of Vu Anh Pham's talent and could easily sit and watch him dance for hours on end. The way his body moves so fluidly and watching seeing it get taken over by the music is captivating to say the least. This guy demands our attention on stage and rightly so. Similarly, the level of commitment by Samaya throughout Depth of Field, is phenomenal, given that she has what is probably the most demanding routine of the three.
As I watched them fling their bodies around and throw themselves on to the dirt, twisting and turning their various limbs, I began to feel more and more unsettled. As I delved into these feelings, I noticed how so many people seemed to be walking past the performance without even acknowledgement the beauty of what was transpiring before them as the sun settled over Melbourne.
I was hit with an almost melancholy at how insular we can be, but then things started happening and you realise that nothing is what it seems and the creative genius of van Dijk comes and slaps you in the face.
I have been eagerly awaiting the return of Dance Massive this year and if the rest of the shows I see are even half as entertaining insightful and exciting as Depth of Field, I will be more than satisfied with this year's festival.
Oh, and apart from a light drizzle, the rain held out! (thanks Melbourne!)
Venue: Malthouse Theatre forecourt, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006
Season: Until 14 March | Mon - Sat 7pm
Tickets: $45 Full | $40 Conc | $30 Youth
Booking: Dance Massive