The Check Point Solo starts in the silence of the Warehouse space at Metro Arts, the only accompaniment a soft hum of the lighting and footsteps falling in the corridor outside. Rhiannon Newton begins to narrate her story, snatches of life through a year of travels. As she begins to dance, we hear her feet slide and scuff along the floorboards, squeaks emitted as feet grip and are wrenched out of position.
As Newton jerks her body, moving each joint individually on its hinge, we hear the soft creaks and cracks of a worked dancers body, joints chip over each other, echo through the room. The music comes in, Newton moving with the music, catching and bending with the beats. Then, as if this jerkiness was nothing at all, Newton transitions into a smooth fluidity, breaks of the joints melt away as she flows through the space; a transition of grip to release showing us the variation in Newton’s skill just as the tension begins to wear.
I often found myself drifting through the narrative scenes, not completely aware of their location and connections. Some choreography becomes repetitive, and while Newton and director/co-choreographer Jo Pollitt use the depth of the space well, there is little variation and elevation in the performer. Short, coming in shy of half-an-hour, yet intensive on Newton, her breath heavy in the final scenes, The Check Point Solo is a gentle work for the audience. Some unevenness in execution, it is the interesting dynamic of Newton’s jolting limbs which carries the show.
Brisbane Festival presents Under The Radar featuring The Check Point Solo, concept and direction by Jo Pollit. Performer Rhiannon Newton, choreography Jo Pillit and Rhiannon Newton, photography by Rhiannoon Newton. In The Warehouse, Metro Arts, Brisbane. Season closed.