Out Of Earshot @ Adelaide Cabaret Festival Review

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Out Of Earshot @ Adelaide Cabaret Festival Review Image © Jeff Busby
'Out Of Earshot' by KAGE begins with two dancers checking each other's pulses. Percussionist Myele Manzanza fills out the silence by beating out a rhythm on first one then four dancers' bodies before graduating to a drum kit.

This is the only soundtrack for the performance, a collaboration between KAGE Dance Company, Manzanza and profoundly deaf dancer Anna Seymour. The theme of sensory deprivation is touched on throughout the evening. Unfortunately the elements that constitute the show never cohere and the impression is of a worthy experiment that is unfinished.

Jerky, spasmodic movements are soundtracked by sporadic drum hits that slowly increase in intensity as the dancers begin to mosh before it ends and they fall prostrate on the floor. The audience can hear them panting from physical exertion, and as they begin to move again the squeaking floor and slap of skin on skin are clearly audible. It is as visceral a soundtrack as one is likely to encounter.

Unfortunately it's also the closest the audience gets to connecting with the artists, who have already moved on. Exploring the stage and each other's bodies, they create some moments of beauty, but these are strung out too sparsely throughout the performance.

An a cappella rendition of 'Super Bass' is accompanied by interpretive dance that takes a literal approach to the lyrics. Meanwhile, at the front of stage two dancers entwine, one covering the other's eyes. Then the sound stops though the action continues apace. A point is being made in a laboured fashion, but like too much of this performance it feels like an interesting idea that has not been taken to its full conclusion.


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