In this powerful new performance, the Australasian Dance Collective (ADC) is joined on stage by The Kite String Tangle’s Danny Harley in a dystopian rave that almost feels like the beginning of a (very well-choreographed) zombie film.
The dancers are dressed in grubby looking neutral tones, and the Powerhouse’s brick is the perfect backdrop to the industrial chic setting that recalls an East Berlin dance party – where no one smiles, and everyone’s bodies jerk in time to the rhythm. The dancers could all double as edgy models, with hipster moustaches and messy plaits, which adds to the sense of a glamourous post-Soviet doom. Everything from the costume to the lighting design is totally on point, and builds a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia in the audience and parts of the performance are repeated in a frenzy to intense electronic beats.
Again, here the stage design excels. Harley’s position in the middle of the space – also dressed in dull Soviet-yet-edgy clothing – highlights what he brings to the piece. The music is a central character in the work, and builds the taut atmosphere with layers of sounds and only occasional, haunting phrases.
Image © David Kelly
Of course, last but not least, is the dance. 'Aftermath' is co-created by Amy Hollingsworth and Jack Lister, and the dancers bring their work to life perfectly. The way they move is nothing short of mesmerising, with spikes of circus-like leaps and tumbles interspersing the jerky movements that characterised the performance. A signature is repetition: heads shaking to the beat or arms swinging stiffly emphasised the almost robotic, emotionless aesthetic. Each performer is highlighted in turn, letting them and their slightly different styles and strengths shine.
'Aftermath' is a complete immersive sensory experience, and transports the audience from the banks of the Brisbane river to another time, where perhaps no one is happy, but good god can they move.