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When 247 Days choreographer Anouk van Dijk was asked for a working title of her upcoming production, there were 247 days until opening night. In the 247 days since then, the ad hoc title has stuck and so too, it seems, has the lack of thought behind the concept.

Part of the 2013 Dance Massive, 247 Days is a contemporary dance piece that explores individuality and self-reflection, pondering and inner turmoil, with dialogue, song and musings on globalisation thrown into the mix.

Six dancers take to the stage, both on mass in unison and in more intimate solo pieces. Lauren Langlois’ opening scene sets the tone for what is a showcase of multi-talented young dancers including Tara Soh and Leif Helland, whose vocals add another dimension to the show.

The set is blank apart from the looming mirrors that move across stage, creating endless reflections of the dancers from multiple angles. Michael Hankin’s set design works in unison with Niklas Pajanti’s lighting, mirroring and moving with the dancers.

The mesmerisingly intimate performance between James Pham and Leif Helland, then joined by Alya Manzart, was overwhelmingly beautiful. This performance, as well as Niharika Senapati’s tortured rendition of inner turmoil, are highlights of a show that otherwise fails to capture the audiences attention and never quite evokes a connection with the dancers.

Marcel Wierckx’s composition is impressive, from giving goosebumps to occasionally overpowering the choreography and often times (thankfully) overpowering the unnecessary dialogue and poor acting. The incoherent ramblings on love and society punctuate the performance and are the pitfall of this piece.

At times manic, at times impressive and at times awkwardly lingering, the moments of dance that are good, are excellent, but there are times when things just drag. If you want to catch something from the 2013 Dance Massive, this show is worth seeing if only for the experimental use of lights and reflection as well as Wierckx’s powerful composition.

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By Gabrielle Easter   |  

247 Days details

Merlyn Theatre
113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006

Telephone 03 9685 5111

Price $30.00 to $49.00

Date 15 Mar 2013-23 Mar 2013

Director: Anouk van Dijk

Cast: Leif Helland, Lauren Langlois, Alya Manzart, Niharika Senapati, James Pham and Tara Soh

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