Fabricate Review – Basement Theatre



Basement theatre
Reviewed by Genevieve McClean

One individual divides the space with a length of string and we begin. It’s a lovely starting point. The point becomes a line, the human evolves into ..five and an architectural flowering emerges.

We are witness to scholarly disciplines in a sophisticated and generous performance in Fabricate, by Caitlin Davey, Cushla Roughan, Lydia Connolly-Hiatt, Rodney Tyrelland and Reece Adams. Using innovation to plug gaps in the budget and delving into a collective visual history, it soothes, and it transfers, in its dealings with surfaces.

The linear and literal play with construct starts with that one first line.  It emerges with the slow efficacy of a screen not a machine. I am reminded of my age. I’m reminded of my world, and the rhythms of computer technology. The everyday music of timing and programming that I can see in the pacing of computerized construct in a way that is quite different from the pacing of industrial construct of say even thirty years ago. This methodical movement sits well alongside the determinism of the human who dances next. But the imagery in front of me is reminiscent of retro engineering, hanging bridges, defiant modernism…

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The line is a rule. The rules are to be…reconfigured. The rigging is deployed and redeployed. The sequencing is a standard, and very consciously placed on a short loop is my guess. Just when I am starting to feel like a code cracker, the human character that flows within, throws me certain clues of voicelessness, and forbearance via universal gestural language escaping from the automaton-like functions of the body and the mind.

While this piece showcases new talent I’m particularly impressed by the intellectual fusion of theme and it doesn’t fall away, but plays out without any didacticism, a carefully balanced harmony of array, and disarray.

Then the plane shifts… our vantage is shifted. With humility and invitation, it’s incredible how much macrocosm you can get in such a little space and that was just the start.

The visual pleasures of poised retro artifice were glimpsed, then another kinetic sculpture like old film footage, and other filmic ploys that wheel through our familial time. Urgency, love, fear, angst, nostalgia, it’s all in there, lit and designed evocatively, and with a soundtrack that like the lighting, sits strongly within the walls of the constructed space providing a nest-like platform for their very well conceptualised display.

Powerful, earnest, humble. …enduring.

Insectoid or infested, macro, or intimate, the articulation was mastered and pushed to effect. The effect was not the mastery, but a vision of raw sequencing viewed from the side. The point, the line the plane and the room, and the space beyond: they inhabited it, taunting collapse, sometimes with the ultra real, which was at times a visceral experience.

As a physical group there’s some melding yet to come perhaps. I was happily uncertain at times but the restorative pauses between works used in different ways were all highly readable material and just as complex. Individually however, each dancer had moments when they combusted on through to a new dimension in evoking story from dance, owning the space, little wonderful moments when I leaned forward as though I’d seen a shooting star at a fireworks display.


I wished for more.

It is an excellent and lyrical dissertation on the contemporary human condition in dance.