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Is it worth it, let me Work It

March 19, 2015

By Yen Eriksen

The unknowing evening wanderer through Civic might be drawn in by the warm upturned lights, morphing Garema place into a curiously soft concrete stage. This adventurous passer-by is rewarded with a seat and equally-as-curious company.

A single dancer threatens to move, still, until the familiar bell sound of an iPhone tolls. We are met with a series of jilting and mechanical movements, as the sound switches to a musical soundscape, meshed with single voices commentating their own lives.

Work It is a multimedia dance piece that draws on the monotony of the day to day and translates it into a rich performative meditation of sound, video and movement. Alison Plevey uses her elastic limbs to reframe our relationship with the work place, a space most of us spend our days, the place where ultimately we will spend more of our lives than with our families.

Talking head interviews are peppered amongst clips of Alison site dancing in banal workplace scenes projected onto the concrete back drop. The scene is a mesmerising and challenging experimental artwork, which draws focus between the intense stimulus and simple questions.

The piece asks you to think about the purpose of your own work, what are you driven by? Why is it rewarding? Do you love what you do?

Though with these questions there is no attack, rather a defence of working to live, as something we all need to do. This is offered through the eyes of empathetic characters who make you laugh, amongst other things. AV producer Caitlin Welch describes how ‘each person can relate to one of the characters, it reminds people of times in their lives when they worked on those things.’

‘We tried to bring out the interconnectivity, all of these different work places that people don’t see, play such a big part in all of our lives, and it’s this churning that goes on every day that we don’t remember,’ says Caitlin.

For Alison ‘it’s about trying to show another aspect of their work, in the undercurrent of what they are saying’ through dance. All the while asking the audience to consider ‘what am I actually doing, am I happy? What can my work actually offer,’ inviting us to be reflective.

The high energy and forward moving piece spans the course of a work day, in one short hour. Its scenes and narrative follow the routine, the methods, the feelings and reflections of work life. Alison dances with emotion and expertise that speaks to a wealth of experience in her art form. The collaboration with Caitlin, Yohann Iddawela (Audio/DJ) and Adam Deusien (Dramaturge), is intimate and effective. The collective have a lot to be proud of, as Work It proved to be an opening night stand out performance.

Work It will be performed again for those who missed it in Garema Place on Friday night at 8pm.