ORCHIDS is excellently crafted. The dancers build kaleidoscopic and kinetic tableaus. They grow from seeds into wild flowers, weeds and parasites. Hypnotising patterns are formed when weaving their fingers, fists and elbows. Palms pressed against the dancers' heads creates a crown of petals and fists build a stem that swaying in the wind.
Jennifer Lal’s simple but effective lighting design heightens the illusion of the black crevice in which the dancers grow. Side lights create angular shadows against the thin black gauze and tint the dancers amber in the tender moments. Similarly, Andrew Foster’s set design is minimalist, letting the dancers take full focus. If I did have to change one thing about the show I would like to see the dancers play more with the gauze. It was thrilling when the sheet above unexpectedly move with the cast.
Each dancer is dressed in their own colour and offers unique styles and motifs. Dressed in black, Katie Burton highlights the womb with melancholic gestures. Joanne Hobern, in bright red, flirts with the dancers and audience mischievously. She writhes like a time lapse of a weed invading a garden bed. Jahra Wasasala, in praying-mantis green, is infected by Hobern’s dark energy and becomes the monstrous feminine.
Eden Mulholland’s ominous music delivers a range of depths and textures for each group and solo dance. Creepy, metallic insect sounds accompany Wasasala’s metamorphosis. Soft drones and delicate notes welcome nine year old Ivy Foster on to the stage.
I left feeling empowered and reminded of the innate power of femininity. It can be easy to forget the strength inherit in calm, soft, collaborative female spaces. Lightness resisting and rebelling in darkness. I look forward to hearing your interpretation of this dynamic performance. There are only two shows left! Book your tickets here.