If you are yet to see a show by Move Through Life Dance Company, then you’re missing out! The company has been around for 10 years since its inception in 2004, providing an opportunity for adults to learn and love to dance, while also informing audiences of social messages through movement.
Their latest production for the 2014 Adelaide Fringe season, Soul Night at the Cinnamon Lounge, sees them twisting and jiving on the bandwagon of the 1960s, a decade having a popular resurgence thanks to TV shows like Channel Nine’s Love Child.
The show depicts the best and worst of what the decade had to offer. Amongst the cool clothes, fabulous makeup and hair and awesome music, the so called “decade of love” also had the Vietnam War, conscription, non-existent domestic violence laws, and substandard rights for women and Aboriginal Australians.
Dance performances depicting the sexualisation of cigarettes in the 60s advertising, while simultaneously showing their subsequent health detriment is well done, although the gentleman doing the voiceover lacked emotiveness in his voice to match the choreography.
More performances about being the “good wife” and how it was fine to beat your wife, along with touching performances, including actual audio of nurses and soldiers forced to participate in a war that should never have happened, are portrayed with maximum sensitivity.
My only criticism would be that some of the dancers lacked experience, so timing of choreography was a little off, but for a dance company who has a mission to inspire and enable adults to perform, I think this can be excused, because it will only get better with time, and in fairness – it was opening night – the kinks will be ironed out!
That small criticism aside, for these performers to fuse all these social issues and events together, in an original and moving performance, and still keep the vibe up-tempo, is no mean feat. With an absolutely flawless backing band The Special Guests, and a troupe of dancers who clearly understand and empathise with the subject matter, it makes for an overall outstanding performance.
More kudos needs to be given to “The Special Guests” though, with lead vocalist Jayde McSeveney nailing the 1960s Soul Club vibe with ease. Then you get hit with the “where did that come from?” performance of Eliza Dickson, not content to rest on her back up singer role, she busts out the finale song, guaranteed to have you out of your seat on the first 1-2-3. Adelaide often has an aversion to audience participation, but these guys had almost all the audience out of their seats and doing The Pony and Bony Moronie, as if they were transported back to an actual Soul Club in 1960 with songs like Chain of Fools, I Can’t Help Myself, Respect, Heard It Through the Grapevine and more – willing audience participation at The Fringe is rare!
So whether you’re a Greaser, Mod or Hippie, throw on your white boots, tease your hair high and wing that eyeliner and get set for a fun night of music, with a hint of social message thrown in. No matter what you’re age, this is a Fringe show that is guaranteed enjoyment.
Soul Night at the Cinnamon Lounge runs from 26 February – 1 March 2014 at the Marion Cultural Centre.
– Suzanna Parisi, DB Mag