Flatlines launch @ Io Myers Theatre

2011 saw the launch of flatline. The inaugural performance brought together Fuller and Sciberras for the first time after discussing potential collaboration for many months.
– Dance Australia’s GERALDINE HIGGINSON was there for the launch of the company:

iO Myers Studio, UNSW


Screen shot 2011-12-13 at 11.45.01 PMAs individuals, Carl Sciberras is a dancer/choreographer just graduated from WAAPA and Todd Fuller an emerging visual artist who works across sculpture, drawing and animation. But together they are Flatline – a new collective launched with a performance at UNSW on the 9th December which aims to combine dance with animation in innovative ways.

They began collaborating long distance from the east to the west coast of Australia two years ago and the work shown at the launch was the cumulative product of the past two years. There was a celebratory atmosphere to the evening as the launch of Flatline marked the end of long distance collaboration and the beginning of a closer working relationship in Sydney.

Dance and animation are markedly different art forms, but with shared themes and similar ideas underscoring their work it is already more cohesive than one might imagine.

The program was an hour in length, consisting of four choreographic works (one solo, a duet and two group pieces) as well as three animated films. At times, choreography and animation were shown alternately and at others simultaneously, as might be expected through collaboration. From a viewer’s perspective, alternate was preferable in the small theatre space. The audience’s proximity to the stage meant that a simultaneous viewing of live dance and animated film made it difficult to take in the detail of both at once. It is early days but they could be better amalgamated in the future with more creative set design and use of modern technology, if funding allows.

Carl Sciberras’s choreography showed a pleasing sense of structure with each work, though quite short in length, having a clear beginning, middle and end. In Align the movement was pared down and the shifting lines of dancers Flatline_1280conveyed meaning in themselves, punctuated only by individual dancers breaking away from, and returning to the group. Glissement took a more dramatic approach and was the strongest work in terms of concept and a unique movement style.

Todd Fuller’s animation balanced gentle humour with a poignancy that belies his age. At first glance his creations look spontaneous and simply drawn with a deceptively childlike quality but there is a depth of detail in his depiction of the human body and the posture, build, gesture and movement which reveal their inner emotional world.

The eight dancers, all 2011 graduates of WAAPA, acquitted themselves well, particularly considering they had only a week in Perth to rehearse the choreography before bringing it to Sydney. WAAPA has a reputation for producing excellent contemporary dancers with quite a few graduates in SDC’s current roster. This year’s stand out performer was Niharika Senapati. With a strikingly lucid, expressive upper body and a unique movement quality that draws your eye, she already looks a seasoned performer.

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