Liz Lea’s new work The Point begins with a solo from Jareen Wee, an independent contemporary dancer trained in New Zealand and currently working in Australia. The solo is fast paced and, along with its dramatic spotlighting, exciting to watch. Its choreography insists that the body twist itself into a myriad shapes and stretch out into the space that surrounds it. Yet there is something about the occasional turned up feet and the gestures, especially the shapes made by the fingers, that suggests a style that is not entirely within the usual Western contemporary dance mode. And this solo sets the scene for what follows.
Jareen Wee in The Point. Photograph © Andrew Sikorski
Seven of the 12 dancers who make up the cast are essentially exponents of various styles of classical Indian dance, while the other five are Western trained. The title of the work, The Point, refers to the concept of Bindu, the point of creation in Hindu mythology. In essence the work explores connections between Indian dance styles and Western contemporary dance, along with connections between people and place.