LIVE REVIEW: Aftermath – Australasian Dance Collective x Danny Harley – Brisbane Powerhouse

The most powerful thing about art is how subjective it can be. No two people’s interpretations could be the same, and that’s what makes it so special. At the end of the day it’s up to you to take away and react it to it the way you want to. There might be something that stands out and impacts you differently compared to the person that’s sitting directly next to you. There may even be something you needed to hear or see that your body unconsciously knew, which really is a beautiful thing. 

Then you add the concept of collaboration to the mix and bring two different but complimentary worlds together, which is always a bold creative decision to make. It immediately introduces new audiences to the art-piece that will automatically have a different perception on it. And this is exactly what has happened when the Australasian Dance Collective and Danny Harley from The Kite String Tangle collaborated for the visual and audio sensory show, Aftermath. 

Premiering at the Brisbane Powerhouse, this hour fusion of dance and music saw the two creative visionaries combining different strengths and directions together to give a show that made you think and personally interpret what was happening in front of you. 

Sitting at an hour duration, the show follows the lead-up to an event and the immediate aftermath that follows. It’s up to you where and what you see this traumatic event to be, but the visual component is absolutely mesmerising. Opening with confetti falling from the roof which represented rain during a storm, the bare structure of the stage was revealed with Danny Harley structured in the middle on a revolving platform while the industrial brick wall of the Brisbane Powerhouse spotlighted as a major feature. With bold lighting playing into the careful blocking of the stage, all six dancers honed their place on the stage during the opening number before rolling into the rest of the show. 

Using shadowing, complete blackouts, and flashing strobe lighting to enhance the unfolding story, the production was always super simple but effective. This allowed the art of dance and the pulsating and diverse stylings of the live instrumentation to take centre stage. There were no props or over the top costumes to take away from the show itself, as they consciously kept to the bare minimum. This is not an easy feat to pull off as the instrumentation was performed live solely by Danny Harley, but the show was strong enough that it didn’t need anything else to carry it but the music and choreography. 

“Do you remember yet?” a voiceover whispers which signals the beginning of the vividly fast pace exploration of the different processes of this major event. They transport you into this grungy, and futuristic inclined apocalyptic world that feels like it’s hidden somewhere in the heart of a underground European rave. With heavy distortion and bass pulsating through the heavier electronic influenced moments of the show, Danny Harley contrasted the shows high and low moments with ambient production that is a massive departure from his electronic roots. 

The enchanting and captivating contrast of these significant emotions was highlighted in the choreography created by Jack Lister and Amy Hollingsworth. There were moments of pensive reflection as well as glitchy and bold rave representation. As someone that doesn’t come from a dance background, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the dancers due to the shear fascination I had with the storytelling and articulated choreography. It was magical in all the right ways, and still consumable even if you didn’t have the right education of the art form. 

Aftermath is a show that doesn’t need to be solely enjoyed by dancers and fans of choreographed art pieces, as it is also a show for fans of collaboration. There is something for everyone, and something that you could completely immerse yourself within. it’s also another piece of proof that the Kite String Tangle can ever so boldly, and confidently, create an immersive soundscape within every project he does. 

For more information about the Australasian Dance Collective and their upcoming 2021 season visit HERE 

Photo supplied by David Kelly