Internationally acclaimed choreographer Natalie Weir, and the astounding ensemble of award winning dancers from Expression Dance Company, delivered a spectacular and visually riveting performance held at Brisbane’s own, Playhouse QPAC on Friday night, in the launch of their world premiere performance of 7 Deadly Sins, exposing the seven capital vices that obstruct the human soul: Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Envy, Pride and Wrath.
The opening scene portrays a man – or the narrator so to speak (Thomas Gundry Greenfield), who sits back in his living room and observes a duplicate of himself as the ‘host’, who comes to physically interact with each sin one by one, exposing varying degrees of temptation and pleasure, combined with associated levels of guilt and inner turmoil.
It’s definitely an intellectually stimulating performance, more than just aesthetically pleasing entertainment. Despite whether or not the audience interpreted the sins with the desired intention, each act has its own internally poignant effect on the viewer, as the dancers expose their own raw versions of the perils that haunt the human mind when taken in excess.
Unlike Natalie’s other works with softer, acoustic melodies – the edgy, dramatic and at times eerie sounds throughout the performance, were produced specifically to complement each of the sins, in her first ever collaboration with electronic composer Darrin Verhagen. The glistening gold costume designs by Bill Haycock were simply stunning, particularly adding to the modern depiction of the desire for material wealth in Daryl Brandwood’s Greed, and Benjamin Chapman’s egoistic precedence in Pride. It was quite an unusual and sensual 60 minutes viewing – unlike anything I have experienced before. I personally found the most powerful part of the performance towards the end, when all the sins unite into a deeper energetic and synchronised fluidity after fighting for dominance over each other in the Man’s conscience.
The extended closing applause confirmed just how well it was received by the audience too. What I found particularly interesting though, is that guests have the opportunity to actually invest shares in the dancers themselves. If you haven’t already bought a ticket, I highly recommend you do, as this will be multi-award winning dancer Daryl Brandwood’s last signature work with Expressions Dance Company, in Natalie’s words before he “hangs up his socks”. For event times and ticketing information click here.
Words by Sophie Lucas | Images by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Photography