Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014

SOMA, MFF 2014

1 Comment 28 September 2014

Some people can be flexible. They might be able to do the splits or hold a complicated yoga position. But dancer and contortionist Amy Macpherson is just a little bit more flexible then the average person. Her solo dance show SOMA showcases the incredible things her body can do.

SOMA is a 30-minute dance piece created and performed by Macpherson who has been trained in contemporary dance and contortion by a member of Circus OZ.

The show is simple. A spotlight shines on Macpherson who stands in the middle of the stage in a skin-tight green body suit. She starts with slow controlled movements where particular body parts are isolated; a point of the foot, a flick of the hand. Her face is unreadable but her eyes are intense and you feel as though she’s watching you throughout the whole performance.

With some dance pieces like this one, there isn’t so much a narrative as a showcase of movement, which means people can interpret it in different ways. Macpherson’s performance felt quite surreal at some points, especially when she would look at her hands as if they were unfamiliar to her, or when she looked into the audience like she is studying us. This persona, combined with short sharp movements, gave the impression of an alien creature inhabiting a human form that wasn’t their natural body.

The music, by Sydney based composer James Brown, worked well to support her movements as the tempo ebbed and flowed, matching the intensity of the dance.

However, for most of the performance her moves were small and repetitive. While technically impressive, it meant some of the sequences went on for too long and caused your mind to wander away from what was happening on the stage.

The parts of the performance that really shone were when Macpherson showcased the extent of what her body can do. At one stage while resting on her hands, she moved her leg up and over her head in a move that made me want to go home and stretch more. She also bent herself backwards and walked around the stage on her hands and feet, making it look a lot simpler than it is.

SOMA explores the creation of movement, from the first thought all the way through to the execution whether it be a point of the toes or stretching your whole body backwards. Sitting in the audience and watching her mould her body into these positions with such ease certainly makes your own muscles tense up. Despite some sequences that felt monotonous, Macpherson’s skill in contortion and dance technique is to be commended.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets to the show.


  1. SOMA- Fringe 2014 | Jessica Dickers - October 16, 2014

    […] Originally published on Buzzcuts […]

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