A beguiling reverie
By Caitlin McGrane
The opening 20 minutes of Dreamlogic took me slightly by surprise, it was like being in a psychological experiment and I did for a moment think that there might be an element of audience participation. Thankfully, I was mistaken. The two performers, James Welsby and James Andrews, begin by blowing up balloons and moving them around their bodies without using their hands. It’s incredibly awkward and hilarious to watch, as simultaneously audio from a psychology experiment plays in the background. The focus of the performance is on the subconscious mind, so it’s fitting that the opening seemed to encourage the audience to relax and let themselves be carried through the performance.
As the performance built to a crescendo, the space between the dancers reduced until they started to move beautifully together. I particularly enjoyed the surprising yet creative use of balloons, but was slightly disappointed they didn’t move around them towards the end as the balloons filled up the space. Choreographed creatively by Welsby himself and Amy Macpherson, the 50-minute show was delightfully captivating. The rhythmic ebb and flow of the performance captured the audience’s attention and held us in a dream-like state that continued even as I left the theatre. My absorption was only briefly distracted by the slightly clumsy lifts in the final act.
The subconscious mind and the spaces between people, the subject matter that inspired the performance, never felt tired or insipid. Instead, I found myself asking questions about the way that people interact with each other and how we move collectively through spaces. Dreamlogic is a delightful performance that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys thinking critically about how we interact.
Dreamlogic is showing at the Northcote Town Hall at 7:30pm until Tuesday 10 March. For tickets visit http://www.darebinarts.com.au/whats-on/dreamlogic-phantom-limbs.