Above Ground

Rebecca Varidel
30th Jun 2018

Sydney continues to offer beyond amazing independent theatre productions including the incredible array presented by FORM Dance Projects that fosters and develops contemporary dance culture in Western Sydney.

With FORM continuing to offer opportunities for innovation, its latest project Above Ground, a double bill of dance, was performed at the venue of founding partner Riverside Theatres Parramatta.


Without giving more than a nod to what we were about to experience, two bodies lay strained and just subtly moving on the black theatre floor as we entered the auditorium. Around them technology, cameras and prosthetics. Behind them a digital display, back wall video.

Beyond innovation in contemporary dance this piece was visionary and took us beyond the realms of the real yet from within the realms of 21st century technology. Amazing distortions of floor work and cameras beckoned us into the inner fathomings. Then in meeting the criteria of the double bill title, took us above the stage on stilts in a statement of many layers. Androgynous dancers and costuming took us beyond the softness of traditional dance with hard form alien athletics that combined not only use of the props but utilised unsettling camera angles.

Cat's Cradle is a captivating big work that in breaking convention takes us on a contemplative yet futuristic journey outside the boundaries of the technology that it uses. If you get a chance to see another performance or any other collaboration by this duo make sure you arrive, are present, and engage. A perfectly executed 5 stars will transport you to inner questioning.

CAT’S CRADLE Legs On The Wall

It's not often that a double bill fits together as well as this one. The subject for not only continues into aerobatics in this second performance, but ably follows on with the theme of technology and prosthetics and how we are repressed.

Officially Choreographer Joshua Thomson explores the depths of what is private and what is public. How do we navigate between what we desire to do and how we are expected to act?

Yet beyond the material subjugation, this disturbing performance relates how we can become disabled on an emotional level, and reaches into the core of our beings. I know this too well. Where is the boundary, and when do we cross it? And if we do, is there a path back? Confrontational, risk taking, performance physicality.

Production image credit - Heidrun Lohr