PuSh 2018: Meeting

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Meeting | PuSh International Performing Arts Festival | Performance Works | January 24 – 27, 2018

Mysterious, precise, methodical. Australia’s Antony Hamilton and Alisdair Macindoe have created a dance piece that accompanies 64 robotic percussion instruments.

Arranged in a circle, the small wooden blocks with pencils that tap the floor create a staccato rhythm that drives their movements. Remaining within the small circle, the two men move like clockwork to the tic toc of the gadgets, each motion precipitating the next in a kind of domino effect.

At times if seemed like their movements were controlling the motion of the robotic instruments, but they were in fact meticulously preprogrammed in advance and their movements are set to the rhythm of the robots. Most of their choreography is slow and deliberate, almost meditative.

During one section the two performers recite numbers, repeating them until they lose all meaning. This got many laughs from the audience as the words became more and more distorted. Gingerly removing themselves from the circle, they moved the blocks into a new arrangement scattered around the stage, with various items placed under the pencils to create different sounds. The eccentric genius of how it all comes together is mind boggling. In a sonic domino effect, the robots carried on chiming and tapping as Hamilton and Macindoe moved through them.

After the two dancers slowly walk off stage, the chimes, clicks, and taps continued far longer than you would expect, as if the robots were choreographing their own dance. This show wasn’t necessarily impressive for its choreographic style but for the way it integrated technology, sound and movement in a synchronized and striking display.    

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