DANCE – Shadowland – Her Majesty’s –5K

1 By Peter Maddern

The magic of dreams and the thrill of youthful exploration combine as the themes for this magnificently engrossing dance romps. The US Pilobolus dance company have been touring the world with this production and it is not hard to quickly understand why it has been such a hit.

A girl wishing for a life beyond being regarded as a child gets propelled into a place where creepy crawlies morph into castles and warriors into elephants. Gigantic hands reach down, some with benevolence, others with a transformative motive as they help guide our ‘dog girl’ on her travels. At times to engage with cannibal chefs, a centaur, her first love or, perhaps in the best movement of the night, a sublime submerging into watery depths.

2The shadows projected onto the various screens speak of a dogged determination to fully explore the imagination for possibilities. The music that accompanies moves from standard modern dance techno vibes with the obligatory static to melodies reminiscent of the Eagles’ LA sound back to the darkest of the Beatles’ White Album spaced out indulgences.

Molly Gawler as the girl is superb with a physique that seems to straddle the generations of the character she portrays, Krystal Butler makes for a saucy circus ring mistress and Jacob Michael Warren is simply the largest man I have ever seen on a stage.

While some productions can deter a more general audience with the intricacies of the language of dance, Shadowland is as much for the uninitiated as it is for all generations.

One doubts whether there will be a better dance production to come to Adelaide this year. This show is in no others’ shadow.

Kryztoff Rating  5K

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