Desire Lines, both physical and metaphorical, are single moments of defiance that quickly become the norm as others follow suit. They are the beaten dirt tracks that crisscross city parks and wild sand dunes, thick scrub and council nature strips, and they are the doors opened by trailblazers who break societal norms and give the patriarchy a shake. They are at once transgressive and progressive, having an impact on everything and everyone in their vicinity.
But what happens when people conform to the disobedience and rebellion morphs into orthodoxy? Do we remain and toast the revolution, or head off again in search of new challenges? These are the paradoxes and dilemmas explored in Desirelines, a new work by Brisbane-based ensemble group Collusion.
The result of an intense collaboration between chamber musicians, visual designers, choreographers, dancers, costumers and composers, Desirelines is the latest of a number of innovative new works to have been developed in Brisbane recently. Excitingly, the standard of these performances has been consistently high, with only very rare exceptions. And Desirelines is definitely not one of those exceptions.
Everything about this show is exquisite, from the swirling musical score projected directly on to the stage, to the way the light catches the crystal detailing of the costumes as the performers glide through the animation, to the mop of curly hair atop the cellist’s head (a feature I realise is more to do with good genes than good direction, but still…)
With the musicians onstage and incorporated in to the choreography, an intimate relationship between the music and the movement of Desirelines develops, highlighting the interconnectedness of all the elements that have gone into creating this production.
Perhaps my only criticism of Desirelines is that there is so much beauty, it’s impossible to know where to focus your attention. Do you concentrate on the dancers’ graceful exchanges and miss the synchronicity of the animations, or take in the ingenuity of the simple set design and neglect the way the costumes mirror the set design.
Desirelines is a testament to the combined vision of co-producers (and choreographer and violinist respectively) Gareth Belling and Benjamin Greaves, and to the professionalism of all the creatives involved that they were able to combine their various disciplines and personalities to create such a bewitching piece of live performance. To say it’s an achievement is an understatement.
If you haven’t already got tickets you might struggle to find a seat now, but give it a shot anyway. I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed if you’re lucky enough to see it.
Judith Wright Centre
Until 5 September
Images: FenLan Chuang