What a silly show!
And what a tremendous thing that a professional Dance company should take it on themselves to put together such a silly show.
In my opinion, a little more silliness in the Arts could win the sector a lot more public favour – a theory that was put to test and proven (though perhaps unwittingly) by Dancenorth’s Rainbow Vomit. While billed as a children’s show, the enthusiasm from last year’s sell-out premiere season of Rainbow Vomit was clearly contagious. It was a broad demographic that joined us in the C2 Theatre, covering everyone from young families, through groups of teens, to retirees.
Directors/Choreographers Kyle Page and Amber Haines had sought to remind us of the world beyond buttons and screens with this offering and they have done exactly that. From the moment we took our seats and spied the five-strong ensemble slouched on fit balls, seemingly transfixed on a television screen, I was uncomfortably aware of my own terrible posture courtesy of too much time at the desk, on the couch and bowed over a 5-inch screen.
As the show started and we watched the Dancers skillfully bounce around on fit balls, project ping-pong balls over the audience (read: NOT in a “Thailand” way) and explore the possibilities of a levitating helmet, two thoughts came to mind:
- What ever happened to play and the intrinsic enjoyment of it (no points, no levels, no leader-boards)?; and
- Damn! I’d forgotten the human body is capable of so much more than pressing buttons.
Aside from being a much-needed wake-up call, this show is a whole lot of fun. I loved that quirky moments of bouncing hair and unicorn slap-fights were interspersed with opportunities for older audience members to really appreciate the strength, skill and artistry of the incredible Dancers Townsville is lucky to call its own. The performers – Harrison Hall, Mason Kelly, Jenni Large, Ashley McLellan and Georgia Rudd – bring so much more than movement to the show. Their facial expressions and voice work are incredible; and add extra layers of comedy to what is already a hugely entertaining piece.
About half way through the night, just as the audience was feeling well and truly swept up in Rainbow Vomit‘s world of possibilities, the Dancers bounded into the audience and handed out “fireworks glasses” with instruction to wear them for the rest of the show. I slipped the oversize pair of glasses onto my face, and the performance space immediately burst into a sea of colour and illusion. The final throes of this wonderful show were as though they were danced in a giant kaleidoscopic world, as the performers took us on an exploration of light and colour using only movement, torches and 7km worth of coloured rope woven around the set (yeah… ‘only’). I played with my glasses on the drive home, when I got home and again this morning.
The oohs and aahs from the audience at this juncture were a huge part of the fun, and it was terrific to hear adults around the room giggling like children as their minds struggled to make sense of what they were seeing. Indeed, the audience was a big part of the show from start to finish and (for me, at least) it was a rare treat to see a performance through the eyes of a child, thanks to a young gentleman behind me who provided valuable commentary to our half of the theatre throughout the night. While this young man’s insightful comments – including ‘They’re actually climbing the tower!’, ‘I think the Dancer has a sore toe’ and ‘This is my favourite part!’ – could not have been planned by Kyle, Amber and the team, they were irrefutable proof that the Dancenorth team had achieved exactly what they had set out to do – fully engage an audience without the aid of high-tech gadgets and gizmos.
I could certainly write more about this terrific show, but I think the fact it’s again selling out locally, before touring nationally later this year is testament enough. Besides, it’s sunny outside and I want to go play with my fireworks glasses.
Catch Dancenorth’s Rainbow Vomit in Townsville at 2pm and 6pm on 20 May 2016. Click here for tickets.
HUXLEY Press were invited guests of Dancenorth.