OZASIA DANCE – What the Day Owes to the Night – Dunstan Playhouse – 4.5K






By Belle Dunning

Compagnie Hervé Koubi’s Australian premiere of ‘What the Day Owes to the Night’ is a mesmerising, high-energy exploration of culture, movement and human connection.

Koubi’s 12 male dancers deliver a unique blend of movement influenced by western and eastern styles of dance, including contemporary dance, ballet, acrobatics, capoeira and Sufi whirling. The subtle strength and ease of movement, and the intensity and pace of the performance across the whole hour, is astounding. It’s a sort of organised chaos. Added to this is a beautifully simple costume, and a music score which artfully interweaves Arabic, classical and electronic music. It’s truly beautiful to watch.

What the Day Owes to the Night is undoubtedly a very masculine and strong performance, by virtue of its cast and the elements of warrior culture and martial arts that infiltrate it, but it’s not at all aggressive. By contrast, a sense of calm cooperation prevails, as the dancers’ bodies weave around one another in complex movement patterns made possible through subtle communication and, clearly, hours of practice. And there are moments of complete vulnerability, softness and quiet that juxtapose beautifully against the rest of the performance. This struck me as something truly unique. Rarely in the western world do we see masculinity portrayed in this way.

I also found it interesting to observe the exploration of the individual versus the collective through this performance. Although all of the dancers are dressed the same and are often completing the same movements, perhaps because of this, you notice the individual differences in their bodies. The beautiful diversity of the human form. And yet, in their differences, they are also the same. Capable of the same strength, vulnerability and human connection. And each of them plays a vital role in a complex performance that wouldn’t otherwise be possible without their collective cooperation.

In Adelaide for only two nights, you have one more opportunity to see this truly unique and standout dance performance as part of the 2019 OzAsia Festival.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5K

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