A sparse set – two walls, some tape on the floor – is given character by lighting (Natasha James) and projection effects (Jason Wright). Flickerings along the edges of furniture, spinning triangles, water on the base of the wall, clearly defined shadows. A light rectangle becomes something to investigate. The score (Jason Wright) is an electronic rumbling. Sometimes jazzy, sometimes disturbing. Occasionally a distorted and layered voice whispers something. Against this backdrop Ross McCormack (director, set designer, choreographer, performer) and Luke Hanna (choreographer, performer) dance. Controlled precise movements mimicking a computer sim, time-lapse sequences, careful hurried mechanical movements. They have the same intense focus of a puppeteer bringing an object to life only they are the objects. Form-fitting grey-green costumes that look like any weekend normcore outfit but with enough stretch to allow them to move unimpeded. There’s a strong sense of story (dramaturgy Melanie Hamilton) even though we might not exactly know what’s going on in this liminal space. Several times a ripple of delighted awe rolls through the audience as something new is revealed.
A fantastic collaborative performance from the company Muscle Mouth. Recommended.
- System on at Te Auaha to 23 March 2019 as part of the NZ Fringe Festival