Ben Chapman and Elise May performing in Expressions Dance Company's The Red Shoes. Photo: Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions.
Ben Chapman and Elise May performing in Expressions Dance Company's The Red Shoes. Photo: Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. CHRIS HERZFELD Chris herzfeld

The Red Shoes are a powerful force of obsession and conflict

THE tension and conflicted sense of self are near palpable as a dancer battles her obsession with perfection in The Red Shoes.

Victoria - trying to balance a love triangle with her lover and her art - is constantly drawn to the spirit of the shoes.

It proves a powerful force that leads to her eventual downfall.

The delusion dream sequence in between - as Victoria (Elise May) wrestles with her growing obsession for the art form, her need for unattainable perfection and her image in the mirror - make for a truly moving performance.

Though dark at times, as Hans Christian Anderson intended in his fairytale of the same name, the strength of this Expressions Dance Company work is the breathtakingly intricate partner work.

The first duet with her lover (Jack Ziesing) was an incredibly moving piece that made it hard to blink for fear of missing even the slightest touch.

This powerful love scene sets the audience up for the emotional rollercoaster that follows.

Benjamin Chapman (The Weeping Angel) and Samuel Colbey (The Dark Angel)  take Victoria's delusions to new heights with incredible solos and more amazing partner work.

Choreographer Natalie Weir's ability to express intimate and deep emotion through dance is extraordinary.

Jack Ziesing performing in Expressions Dance Company's The Red Shoes. Photo: Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions.
Jack Ziesing performing in Expressions Dance Company's The Red Shoes. Photo: Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. CHRIS HERZFELD Chris herzfeld

The dancers - remarkable in their own right - Execute intricate manoeuvres with  fierce intensity and passion throughout the one-act performance.

While their ardour never falters, they are able to temper the powerful moves with equally soft and tender moments.

The attack of the ballet points en masse was a really powerful scene within the delusion.

The QUT Creative Industries dancers flit across the Playhouse stage with ferocious aggressiveness that add an almost tangible element to the madness in Victoria's head.

A video sequence, from film artist Sue Healey, integrated into the performance gave an other worldly experience as EDC explored the story within a story concept.

Great lighting added to the drama while the hauntingly beautiful live music from the Southern Cross Soloists heightened the brood narrative.

This twisted tale, intertwined with a stunning romantic fantasy, continues at the Playhouse theatre at Queensland Performing Arts Centre until Saturday July 26.

You can buy tickets here.



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