|Richard Hilliar, Hybrid Dream|
photo Grant Stewart
Further unease is generated when single characters appear to be embodied by two performers at opposite sides of the space or two speakers at microphones face each other, intoning texts. The ensemble gathers, walks unexpectedly backwards in a circle, finally falling. Performers watch themselves projected onto screens around the space, the images slice up horizontally—nothing is stable. A man chalks “Nowhere” on a black wall. There are bursts of panic: we hear of someone stuck on the edge of a well: “I have no arms!” One performer chats to us about sleep: “Your imagination is at its strongest when you’re not even aware of it.” We hear of a woman who recalls an accident where she was badly hurt, but her serene version doesn’t include the screams that others heard. A performer watches a projected image of herself, shrieks and runs from it.
Projections in various degrees of close-up reveal a tasteful striptease act with feathers, danced to a woozy, gliding trumpet. Little flesh is revealed—it’s a classic tease—but meanwhile, in the dark on the mezzanine above us, the audience gradually becomes aware of a woman (the same one?) removing her clothes without any artistry until naked.
Hybrid Dream was an intriguing if sometimes infuriating experience: images were unnecessarily sustained, the work’s structure was opaque, some acting was over-the-top and performance and movement skills were uneven. However, the work’s stark evocation of dream states and parallel universes was generated with bracing fervour by a committed ensemble supported by a seriously sombre score ably delivered by a trio of musicians and a sound artist. It’ll be interesting to see where Eclective Productions take us next.
Eclective Productions, Hybrid Dream, creators, designers, directors Rachel Chant, Alanna Proud, performers Imogen Dodwell, Jonny Dutaillis, Lizzie Gibney, Richard Hilliar, Ben Horsley, Rhia Parker, Alanna Proud, Tristan Randall, Joanne Villacruz, sound designer Joseph Dutaillis, new media Grant Stewart, lighting Jamie Exworth; PACT Theatre, Sydney, Aug 11-15; www.eclectiveproductions.com
RealTime issue #99 Oct-Nov 2010 pg. web
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