2016 Review

What a remarkable show. Dance company Dance Dr’s fourth and final performance of 2016 at the Eternity Playhouse, in Darlinghurst, was simply a triumph. A fusion of new and unique choreography packed in their annual end of year show, Bardo.  Bardo is the Tibetan Buddhist term for the moments before death; a traditional state in which the body has passed, yet the consciousness remains alive.For Dance Dr, a Sydney-based dance training and performance company for elite young dancers, Bardo was an exhilarating 90-minute assault on the senses.What made the show completely different was video footage repeatedly projected onto the backstage showing a girl’s reflection of her life journey through the brilliant movements  and expressions of the dancers.  Chances are you’ve never seen anything like Bardo as it is truly remarkable, very high-energy performance.Dancers – Lisa-Marie Maglione, Kate Tina Hatzitheodorou, Natassija  belle James, Taleisha-Denae James, Rosina Perry, Isabella Russell and Niki Trifon – bring alive the inspirations and reflections of the dance company’s founder Lucy Mary-Claire and turn them into a visual, dynamic dance.All intertwined with the expressions of thought, mood, and form, through contemporary dance of Bardo. We witnessed her reflections on life events that are both pivotal, profound and seemingly insignificant.  It’s  a well-oiled machine with incredible precision, timing, balance and momentum. The performers sometimes seem to roll back and forth on the floor as they were expressing the Bardo experience.It was delightful and interesting to watch the dancers movements along with cleverly, purposely selected sound tracks that added another dimension. Each soundtrack takes you on a journey of one’s life and each journey can be related differently to each viewer.We all have different life experiences, and what resonates with you through dance, movement, expression and sound can take you back on your own life journeys.The show’s opening – the French soundtrack “formidable” – a celebration of a lifespan – took me back to the time I was learning French and how much I was enjoying learning and discovering new words like “formidable”.There was song after song, including the classic “Only the Lonely”, “ A cold broken Hallelujah” and “Still here, Still waiting” and many more. Each song carried significant meaning.  The show had great stories, talented dancers, amazing choreography, backed by a fantastic venue and costume design elements.Anthony Van Lam, the fashion designer behind the costume for Bardo, commented: “We all seek common grounds of what we see! We have developed the Dance Dr’s silhouette for the past four years!“This year for Bardo we decided on the colour gun metal and a hint of navy – these colours are the transitional state of Bardo. The dramatic gunmetal plays with the movements, lighting and smoke effect. Creating a different state of mind! 

- ArtShine Magazine