The Australian

Australian choreographer Prue Lang has spent nearly 10 years in Europe, the past five collaborating and performing with William Forsythe, who revolutionized ballet technique in the most shocking, contemporary ways.
Infinite Temporal series looks nothing like any Forsythe work seen in Australia during the past few years but is informed by his creative methods.  It is made with a perfectionist’s microscopic gaze, evaluating and editing the dancer’s responses to specific investigative tasks, and shaped to insinuate itself into the viewer’s mind.
The rewards in this transfixing 25-minute work, with images of bodies in a field of seemingly limitless space, are glorious, enduringly so.
The Garden of Forking Paths – a novel by Jorge Luis Borges, is the inspiration for Infinite:  Lang reflects on Borges’ notions of simultaneous temporalities, and explores dreams intersecting with consciousness and narrative form in dance.  She invited the viewer to construct a personal narrative by observing several dances simultaneously.
Crucial to Lang’s concept is her design, an arcade of five rooms, each with a large, unglazed window, through which viewers – 30 at a time, in three shows a night – are free to move, just as the dancers do. Sitting in the last room, one can see the entire vista, as if through a series of proscenia or a hall of mirrors.  The effect is of seeing multiple images filled with potential scenarios.
When all nine dancers move, each with different gestures but all at once, Tiepolo’s ceilings come to mind.  In stasis, the dancer could be Caravaggio or Vermeer portraits: quiet but loaded, seen against the furthermost wall on which ripe, persimmon-coloured light is projected, then smudged or blackened with charcoal. Holding all of this together are fragments of Borges’ text and perfectly sympathetic sonics by Deadbeat,and Ekkehard Ehlers.
Infinite is an entirely contemporary creation yet suggests older associations such as Tai Chi, in which different body parts rotate around different axes, cohering into one fluid expression. At other times the movement is lyrical, searching, but never soft; or driven, springy and even jerky, as if pulled around by elastic twanging inside the dancers’ bodies.
Clearly, this synthesis of Lang’s ideas is not just about movement; it demands much more than the dancers’ kinaesthetic intelligence and investment in the smallest detail. Lang has drawn from them all of the depths of emotion and sensitivity that are dramatically transformative.
Infinite Temporal Series is a gift to every dancer in it: Kristy Ayre, Fiona Cameron, Antony Hamilton, Paea Leach, Jo Lloyd, Ryan Lowe, Carlee Mellow, Byron Perry and Claire Peters. (Lee Christofis)