In The Wine, Assembly Checkpoint, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Java Dance Company
Sacha Copland (Choreography), Meggan Rollandi(Design), Tom Hoyle (Photography)
Emma Coppersmith, Sarah Gatzonis, Michael Gudgeon, Tristan Carter and Charley Davenport
Running time

The dance explores our cultural and historical association with wine. It's an interesting pivot around which this talented group of actors and musicians revolve and constantly return to.

The bacchanalian Greco-Roman opening with echoes of Pan and ancient religions pulls the audience out of their seats into the dance. The Doc Marts worn by the female dancer was a bizarre juxtaposition in this first scene.

Cinnamon stick sales must have rocketed when this group rolled into town. It's used extensively in the opening stages and in later phases. The aroma of the crushed sticks is pleasing, but I could not work out its relationship to wine (other than mulling) and I am still wondering why? Perhaps there is no reason other than the experience.

The dance moves seamlessly and smoothly from scene to scene covering a myriad of cultural facets, mediterranean, Spanish, Russian and contemporary references are poured into this glass of strong fermented brew. Some of the performers double as musicians and an excellent job they do, bringing another rich vibrant ingredient to this performance.

One wedding scene for me drifted dangerously close to cliché but the over all impact is good. The simplest of sets consisting of two large wooden barrels and three large Cajon percussion boxes are predominantly all that is used and they are wonderfully utilised and creatively employed.

The choreography is invisible and that is a good thing as the movement and structure appear spontaneous and natural.

Times: 6-9, 11-14, 16-21, 23-29, 1:10pm.