None of Us

None of Us
DUTI Dance Company. Director /Choreographer Mathew Mizyed. FORM Dance. Riverside Theatres Parramatta. 10-11 May, 2024

The sands of time sift gently and fluidly through this story in dance. Desert colours swirl as the dancers narrate in elegant movement a history that Mathew Mizyed has choreographed as a tribute his father’s homeland and the vast Wadi Rum desert.

In interpretative movements he suggests the long passage of time and the generations that have “walked the land before” – in good times and bad.

A lone, shadowy figure emerges out of darkness. Shrouded in black, Georgette (Sofatzis) Xuereb depicts bleaker times that have shrouded the land. She moves in edgy, angular choreography that is snakingly suggestive of famine perhaps, or disease, or invasion.

Rachell Dade, Andi Huynh and Chantelle Landayan however depict times of growth and prosperity. They move together, gracefully finding connections in flowing choreography that carries them across the land, reaching forward despite the winds that blow the sand and change the landscape – or the dark clouds that they need to hunt away.

The spirit of artistic collaboration envelops this piece of dance theatre. Mizyed alludes to it appreciatively in the program, but it is strikingly evident in the way his creative colleagues have helped realise his vision. Composer Tony Buchen infers the effect of time and change in the music and sound that scaffolds the performance. Gary Bigeni uses dull orange and sandy ochre satiny fabrics in costumes that suggest the colours and shapes of the desert. The lighting, designed by Frankie Clarke, hints at hidden moments in history, especially in one segment where three spots high above the stage shine down on each dancer swirling alone in the circles they form below.

That collaboration is especially poignant when a veil of sand spills from high above the stage, filtering and spreading around the feet of the dancers to become an intricate part of the performance.

Movement, light, sound and texture come  together in this story in dance told by Mizyed and his creative performers and collaborators.

Carol Wimmer

Photographer: Nat Cartney

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