Australian Dance Theatre
Botanic Park, Adelaide
March 11th – March 14th, 2016
It’s not too often that our little Adelaide gets the honour of hosting a world premiere. And even less so that we get to host two! Only a fortnight after the first in Garry Stewart’s Nature dance series, Habitus, premiered during the Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide had the honour of presenting the debut of The Beginning of Nature, a dance and music performance based upon the idea of rhythms in nature.
The nine astoundingly athletic dancers of the Australian Dance Theatre mimic the rhythms manifested in day and night, the seasons, tidal patterns, migration, hibernation, sleep and waking and weather patterns.
Draped in classic, simple white tunics, the focus is directed entirely towards the skills of the performers and the fluidity of the dancing. While there are no big jumps or exuberant flips, the demands of the forty-minute piece are relentless with extensive arm choreography, constant movement and complex floor manipulation. Unfortunately, with so much of the action happening on the floor, some impact was lost as the raised WOMADelaide stage limited the view for many audience members. Nevertheless, the energised contrast between fast and slow ensured a high voltage performance and the acute precision, intensity and stamina of the cast had the audience spellbound.
The commanding score was given due credit by the highly skilled Zephyr Quartet playing on stage and was made even more significant by incorporating the Kaurna language – the original language of the Adelaide region – sung by special guest vocalists Shauntai Batzke and Vonda Last.
For those with an appreciation of dance, this is a piece that will surely have you enraptured.
Under the artistic direction of Garry Stewart, The Beginning of Nature was performed at WOMADelaide in the Botanic Park by Australian Dance Theatre on Saturday, March 12 and Monday, March 14.