Until 12 August
By Alex First
4/4 is characterised by a series of complex movements and maneuverings against a stark stage and backdrop.
It is black, white and grey all the way, save for the golden sun peeking through at the end.
This, against a strong and dynamic sound bed.
4/4 is a highly expressive work, with eight performers paired off.
Ostensibly dressed in black (costume design is by Paula Levis), their only props are four low to ground, black staging decks on wheels, with silver surrounds.
Each is roughly three metres or so long and more than a metre wide.
Alongside that are a couple of small rectangular black boxes, which the dancers stand on from time to time.
The cavalcade of sound varies from ticking, buzzing, tapping, knocking, clapping and clattering to banging and crashing.
In turn harmonious and discordant, we hear drumbeats and, at one point, even a bell. The sound design is by Alisdair Macindoe.
The staging decks become extensions of the dancers as they glide across the stage.
Two, and then three, of these beds are piled on top of each other, although more often they sit comfortable alongside one another, first in pairs, then as a quartet.
The performers movements are, at first, deliberately robotic, but never anything but perfectly in sync.
Then they become ever more fluid, expressive and captivating. The artistry and synergy are remarkable. Bodies become as one.
The choreography is scintillating, the lighting (by Bosco Shaw) atmospheric, the accomplishment mesmerising.
This is fine work of the highest order, conceptualised, choreographed and directed by Anthony Hamilton.
It is hard to believe that this troupe only assembled for the project during the pandemic. Even more astounding because the octet has backgrounds in disparate styles of dance.
They – Mason Kelly, Melissa Pham, David Prakash, Harrison Ritchie-Jones, Aimee Schollum, Michaela Tancheff, Nikki Tarling and Jayden Watt – are mighty.
Strong individually, as a collective they are masterful.
An hour without interval, Chunky Move’s 4/4 showcases professional excellence in its purest form.
It is playing at Meryln Theatre at Malthouse Theatre until 12th August, 2023.
About the Author
Alex First believes all people have a story to tell, if only a good playwright can prize it out of them. Alex has a natural curiosity about the world and believes a strong narrative, or narrative with music, can open the door to subjects about which he knows little.
Like his parents before him, theatre is his passion – a passion with emotional resonance, one that moves and excites him. He brings decades’ experience as an arts’ connoisseur to his role as a critic.
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