Adelaide, Adelaide Fringe 2015

Rip, Drag & Ruminate, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 15 March 2015

Rip, Drag & Ruminate is a double bill dance production by AC Arts’ graduating dancers, which explores social dynamics and needs in a technology-saturated culture. The dancers are physically impressive with tightly executed choreography. Patches of Society is a charming but disjointed show and was overshadowed by the more conceptually complete personwhowatchestoomuchtelevision.

AC Arts is producing dancers and choreographers who can embrace and execute concept with a piercing lack of pretence. Patches of Society weaves together three separately choreographed approaches to identity performance within social groups. Paris Whitridge creates a witty take on the 1950s wholesome but sanitised personal ideal. Social and physical rigidity are used to adeptly ridicule the structure and false celebrity of social media. Cayleigh Davies’s choreography around cohesion and belonging is the most thematically weak section of the performance. Somewhere between 80s music video and an internet risk awareness presentation, this section is uninspiring and loses the audience’s attention. Alex Charman re-engages the crowd with an upbeat and grungy piece exploring binary gender dynamics. Though reductive, the primal physicality of the work was thrilling and sometimes funny. Patches of Society needs a more unified concept and in this form is less than the sum of its parts.

Personwhowatchestoomuchtelevision adapts the work of local poet Rhys Nixon into a chilling and hypnotic technology induced breakdown. Choreographed by Mieke Kriegesvelt, Tyson Olson, Ellen Worley and Greta Wyatt with conceptual input from composer Dan Thorpe, personwhowatchestoomuchtelevision unflinchingly illuminates the frenetic rituals that compose urban life.

A rhythmic voice-over invokes sardonic poems about Nixon’s social anxiety. Four dancers edge onto the stage in a tight group, disconnected but together as the solemn words are drowned out by grating live guitar and cello. The claustrophobic and unsettling tone makes this a sensory experience. The audience are viscerally aware of their own bodies blinking and breathing and broken by barks of laughter that can’t ease the discomfort. This work is physically and conceptually synchronised, it shows the audience a rare beauty that can be found in a scathingly accurate depiction of bleakness.

sitting in a lounge room looking at the television

sitting in a lounge room watching the coffee table


change the channels

order books online (Rhys Nixon).

Adelaide needs more dramatic and dance productions that feature young local performers and writers and Rip, Drag & Ruminate shows just how valuable that can be. While Patches of Society is charismatic, personwhowatchestoomuchtelevision is the highlight of this production and should not be missed.

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