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Diluted b-boy dance

Andrew Fuhrmann
Age, Melbourne  by Andrew Fuhrmann 17 Mar 2017
Arts & Entertainment – page 25
DANCE BETWEEN TINY CITIES Arts House, North Melbourne.

Until March 18 Reviewed by Andrew Fuhrmann.

A cypher is formed when b-boys and b-girls gather in a circle to show off their best breaking and hip-hop dance moves, playing off each another and vying for the approval of their peers.

Choreographer Nick Power is fascinated by this ritual and by the posturing and playful mummery that goes with it.

In his latest work, Between Tiny Cities, which features dancers Aaron Lim and Erak Mith, he explores the cypher as a kind of ceremonial duel.

This is breakdancing, but it is also a kind of dance theatre. At first the phrasing is short and disconnected, characterised by twitchy repetitions. The two dancers are like crouching insects signalling across the circle. An elbow bends and a torso dips once, twice, three times.

The message is returned.

Mith easily wins the struggle for air supremacy with flashy somersaults and wild flares standing on his hands, his legs whirling overhead. On the floor, however, they are more evenly matched.

Between Tiny Cities is certainly an involving drama; but it’s not much like the boisterous breakdance circles seen in movies such as Breakin’ and You Got Served.

Performed as part of the Dance Massive festival for audiences who perhaps aren’t comfortable with the idea of whooping and hollering midshow, this is necessarily a less energetic and more contemplative hiphop experience.

Yes, there’s plenty of acrobatic bravado, but there are also odd moments of quietude and apparent meditation.

Caption Text:
Dancers Aaron Lim and Erak Mith.

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