A highlight of the Sydney Fringe Festival for me was the performance by DUTI - a professional dance company based in Sydney. Interlude was choreographed and directed by Mathew Mizyed, founder of DUTI Company.
Performed at Leichhardt’s Forum Theatre, Interlude began with an abstract film montage of changing patterns and swirls that strongly suggested the themes of TIME and CHANGE with strong percussive rhythmic music reminiscent of the pulse of life. Through dance, Mizyed successfully evoked the ambiguous nature of time and the evolutionary process of existence. He did this through skilfully intermixing motifs of movement: push and pull, rise and fall, tidal change, climbing, transitions from one state into another, sculptures of life – angular and dissonant at times - brought to an occasional standstill, and moments of celebration. Each scene was unique. The evolving language of gesture and movement was arresting and varied.
The dance was a sequence of different physical and emotional states that were seamlessly linked through music, transitioning coloured backdrops, and the comings and goings of dancers. Environmental landscapes were cued by music and lighting that underscored the movement and gestures used to convey each setting. The contrast between landscapes as portrayed by movement and gesture was not only expressive but effective. Successive scenes artfully explored shifting spatial patterns, timing and balance, levels, and groupings of dancers.
In this production, stage space appeared elastic much like time itself. Stage space also assumed a sense of density when dance and music altered to an underwater world where buoyancy and drag influence movement.
The costume of the female dancers was striking. Elegantly simple and flattering, it allowed great flexibility in movement. It enhanced the female form without sexually objectifying the female dancers. Male costume was simple. Trousers and bare upper torsos revealed the dancers’ physical strength, the cleanness of their movement, and the quality of their body flight throughout all phases of the dance.
Overall, the choreography and the performance were a striking combination of impressive technical skill, fluid lyricism, athleticism, and stamina. The large audience were rapt throughout the performance and expressed their appreciation by enthusiastic applause at the end.
© Christine M Knight