Blogs

1 February 2019
Author: Josephine Leask & Wen Amanda Koh

Thu 31 Jan: Celine Fortenbacher/GOLKK Theatre/PaMa's company

Celine Fortenbacher Putzi Kamionka

GOLKK Theatre rest[less] 

PaMa’s company NON SONO

Genres of mime and juggling infused with comedy flavour tonight’s Resolution. Celine Fortenbacher peeps in disbelief through the back door of the theatre. Her face is fixed in a permanent expression of wide-mouthed surprise which she maintains impressively throughout her perilous journey to her goal: a huge suspended egg. Like a naïve, goofy but very well prepared cartoon character, she problem-solves with rolls of tinfoil and a variety of small tools. Engaging and enchanting in all her brave endeavours- her passionate display of joy and disappointment, her meticulous attention to detail in every action and her awkward hip swinging revelry – is a treat to behold. Simple yet delightful Putzi Kamionka brings us an unexpected hit.

In GOLKK Theatre’s rest[less], an understatement for the company’s nervy, hyperactive movements, the stage is arranged with hexagon frames/pods through which four dancers pass and are embodied with a variety of neurotic physical states. With manic bee-like antics, (totally convincing) these busy people construct synchronised rhythmic patterns and truncated actions that question our propensity as twenty-first century humans to over work and never rest. While riveting in its initial stages and brilliantly conceived by the performers, rest[less] loses its way. Ambiguous interactions result in uncooked duets and the relentless twitching finally becomes tedious.

Chris Patfiled & Francesca Mari astound in their juggling competence. Even when they are entwined in tricky partnerings, they are still able to catch, not just their own, but each other’s balls. Their relationship morphs between the seductive and the bullying in NON SONO and while these power games are tainted with a tiresome male bias, Mari’s sensual yet assertive connection with her juggling tools is forceful. PaMa’s company’s effort to keep us guessing about what they ‘are not’ is an intriguing idea, but it’s not as convincing as their bewitching, performative juggling.

Josephine Leask


 

Putzi Kamionka sneaks onto the stage in a pair of mismatched socks and sandals, carrying her signature tinfoil and infectious smile. She is a deliriously silly character, swaying her hips vigorously and grooving awkwardly to the urban techno-beats. Fascinated by every shiny thing, she spots a moonlit egg hanging in the air and has us on the edge of our seats as she makes fumbling (and ‘hazardous’) attempts at climbing a ladder to get hold of it. Absolutely endearing, and performed brilliantly by Celine Fortenbacher, the piece is utterly hilarious and meaningful. It reminds us to embrace the silly in this overly serious world.

Here comes a bee invasion! In GOLKK Theatre’s rest[less], four dancers pierce through a hexagon framed paper, evoking laughter from the audience with what appears to be a peculiar representation of bee wings: awkward shimmering jazz hands and stiff splayed fingers. The busy bees reveal their internalised frustration through a series of spasm-like movements and perpetual buzzing sounds. They break into a flying frenzy, frantically running in circles. Their tiny bee wings, however, take them high but not far. The repetitive twitching just doesn’t seem enough to sustain the piece as it loses its spark over time.

PaMa’s company’s NON SONO is a skilful combination of juggling and dance. The duo comprising Chris Patfield and Francesca Mari toss the balls into the air to create a mesmerizing display of planets orbiting. With their apparent chemistry, the pair go on to throw the balls between their limbs, unfurling and twisting around each other’s bodies, gliding effortlessly across the stage in a ballroom sequence. While the result is hypnotic and almost exhilarating, it is short-lived by the sudden interruption of overly frequent, individual static juggling.

Wen Amanda Koh

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