FESTIVAL: Malmo – Vitalstatistix – Waterside – 4K

In the empty space of the Waterside Workers Hall that is Vitalstatistix’s home base, the audience are warmly welcomed by the enthusiastic and friendly couple, seated on small stools along one side of the room, and provided with a glossy magazine, ‘Malmö’.

As the action begins, you recognise the characters – from TV shows, from dinner parties, from the shops. They are the couple who live and breathe renovation, who are just SO EXCITED about their new project that they feel the need to share every last detail of their inspiration. They sprout the names of European lighting designers like everyone should know them and they drive you up the wall with their wanky, self-indulgent quest to produce the perfect house.

You are invited on a tour of their latest project. As you literally move from room to room, gathering up your stool and being ushered around the space, you witness the evolution of their relationship through dance. You see the emotions and fears that lie beneath the surface. Short vignettes show off the performers’ (Vincent Crowley and Ingrid Weisfelt) talents in this art form, with fluid movements and engaging raw emotion. The couple respond to one another’s bodies well, synchronising and intertwining.

The other aspects of the piece – the intervening discussions between the couple and the presentations to, and involvement with, the audience – show that they are well rounded performers, as they create humorously believable and engaging characters. These also tie the dance breaks together effectively. The accompanying magazine (designed by Justin Berhaut) is a nice touch. Filled with photographs of the rooms that you are taken through, it helps to bring the space to life and adds an interesting further aspect to the whole production. While there is some awkwardness inherent in the movement of the audience from one place to another, this is also a lot of fun and necessary for the piece to work.

Malmö has immense appeal. It brings dance and theatre together to create a wonderfully irreverent, yet moving, exploration of one of the recent crazes in Australia.

Kryztoff rating: 4K

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