WA Ballet’s ‘Light and Shadow’ is the ultimate display of humanity

Ballet at the Quarry: Light and Shadow | Quarry Amphitheatre | Until 29th Feb | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Opening night of Light and Shadow at the Quarry Amphitheatre was a magical display of movement, and technique. Almost theatrical in its delivery, the dancers were stretched to their technical fortitude by combining a variety of styles into the choreography to meet the demands and dynamic of the performances, delivering a unique and ultimate display of humanity.

Air and Other Invisible Forces combined the ferocity of nature, with the beauty, in a dance of turmoil, strength, and freedom. Costume design portrayed a beautiful asymmetry to the nature of the quarry, and the storyline – featuring green garments with vertical lines, akin to leaf and tree veins, allowing for opaque base wear that silhouetted the form of each dancer.

Much like nature, and our environment, there was order within the messy choreography, through differential canon, symbolising the growth and fluidity of Earth.

“My inspiration for the costumes was lightness and strength, fragility and endurance, and the existence of opponent qualities in nature.” noted Akira Isogawa, Fashion and Costume Designer in the program.

Perhaps featured more within the second performance, Ballet in the Quarry truly presented the strength of light and shadow in Architecture of Hope.

The lead dancers, Juan Carlos Osma and Dayanna Hardy Acuña, were mesmerising to watch in this sensual adaption of love, sexuality, aggression, and lust – allowing for the lighting techniques to flourish, amplifying the atmosphere under the full moon.

Their chemistry was divine, representing Adonis and Aphrodite on the night stage, caught in a ferocious battle of love. Movements were more fluid, and assured, predominantly following classical techniques. The interconnection of prop candles, catching the lighting provided by technicians, caused sparks of romance across the audience – couples reached out to each other, proving that this art form continues to inspire.

“Choreography creates a space in which human connection is established – not only between dancers themselves, but also between the dances and the audience.” said Wubkje Kuindersma, Choreographer and Costume Designer.

The third performance, In Light and Shadow was a strong finale to the night. Featuring the entire ensemble, the pace was high and energetic, portraying an air of aristocracy for the night.

Audiences were enticed, and the performance invoked the imagination – transporting the audience into a Victorian gala event, making one imagine a crystal chandelier above, and masquerade balls. Bach solidified this with a beautiful instrumental favouring strings and drums.

Ballet in the Quarry was a brilliant performance, and a must see during the Perth Festival this year. Whether the ballet has ever reached your radar, the Quarry Amphitheatre should be experienced by everyone at least once, and with the magnetic energy of the dancers from the WA Ballet – this is your chance!

Ballet at The Quarry: Shadow and Light is on until 28th February, get tickets now

Joshua Haines

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