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Preview: Close Company by RAW Moves

RAW Moves returns this October with yet another genre busting experimental dance performance. Collaborating with Australian, Adelaide-based artist Alison Currie, the premiere of Close Company will continue their 2018 theme of Competition, as the work examines the notion of co-dependency by dancers in and around the audience.

Comprising of three parts, each act succeeds the last by being performed in increasingly smaller spaces. With the audience sharing the space with the performers and encouraged to continue moving amidst the performance, be it closer to narrow the space or away to widen it, one is then forced to examine themes of power balance and imbalance, emotional closeness, support and resistance, as they negotiate this intimate space with the performers and each other. Through this, dancers and audience both contribute to the performance, as the performance space constantly twists and changes, a profoundly personal experience as we hear the dancers audibly breathing while they move and negotiate each change.

Says choreographer Alison: “The starting point for Close Company came from exploring a physical action of two people leaning on one another and yet seemingly unaware of each other, consumed in their own tasks. I was interested in how actions can be connected in one way and isolated or disconnected in another. I’m interested in how we are competing for space, energy, time, weight and attention, and what that looks like in the body.”

She continues: “We’re looking at proximity and closeness on an emotional level, and how one might impact another in opposite ways, and how these spaces and distances play into the feelings of connection and disconnection. We’re doing this by combining text and sound, such as working with LED lights, phone torchlights and of course audience interaction. We’re trying to create the ambience of feeling lost in a crowd, or maybe a crowded coffeeshop, and we play with the idea of contrasting and distorting various movements.”

Close Company will be performed by RAW company dancers Matthew Goh and Stephanie Rae Yoong, whose performance revolves around the exploration of connecting (or disconnecting) two bodies. Says Alison: “We used some basic actions as a starting point, and there’s been this sense of progression as rehearsals have gone on. Both Matthew and Stephanie are excellent improvisers and find a lot of poignant moments with each other, syncing up pretty easily.”

Says Matthew: “In Close Company, the theme of relationships, whether romantic or familial, comes up a lot and we think about how we relate to other people’s bodies. During the rehearsal process, Stephanie and I are trying to understand more about each other and build chemistry with each other by finding common ground.”

Says Stephanie: “There’s a nice contrast between when we feel physically close but are actually disconnected, kind of like how when we go out with friends but we’re all glued to our phones, so while we’re within the same space physically, we’re emotionally apart. There’s just so many distractions these days that it becomes difficult to find that these days.”

Close Company then pushes, pulls and challenges its dancers physically, mentally and emotionally, asking them to present through their bodies what intimacy and co-dependency means to them. As contact work comes together with text and movement, Close Company promises an introspective, unique look back on our own interpersonal relationships, and the varied connections we’ve forged over our lives.

Photo Credit: RAW Moves

Close Company plays at Multipurpose Studio 1 and 2 at Goodman Arts Centre Block O from 18th – 20th October 2018. Tickets available from Peatix

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