'Game On' Dance Hub Review by Jemma Nicoll

game_on GAME ON: Arts Radar

‘The Studio’ Sydney Opera House, August 14

By Jemma Nicoll

What do you get when you cross an Indian musician, a 1000 year-old instrument and one young Australian dancer?

An utterly stunned audience.

Cultures collide as the ancient rhythms of Bobby Singh go head-to-head with Contemporary technician Miranda Wheen. It’s indeed “game on”, as this unique dance-music duet display what is at first a tense, awkward attempt to relate despite being worlds apart.

Hats off to Singh and Wheen who take complete credit for captivating their audience from start to finish. With only basic costuming and the occasional dull spotlight, Game On is a testament to choreographer Annalouise Paul’s extraordinary ability to unleash power from raw movement, rhythm, and at many times, silence alone. A power that kept me mesmerised on the edge of my seat for an entire forty minutes.

She describes the work as “a three-way conversation” between dancer, musician and audience, and the murmurs of a satisfied crowd confirm it. We’re uncomfortable when Wheen and Singh meet and do not seem to get along. We’re challenged at their cheeky interactions as they strive to “out-perform” one another. We’re thrilled as cultural walls begin to crumble; can Contemporary dance in the 21st Century actually compliment such a historical art form?

The duet has concluded their premiere season in Sydney, with the hope to share their message through a national tour later this year.

For more info go to Game On at the Theatre of Rhythm and Dance website