From the Mornington Peninsula coastline to Melbourne’s inner city’s Meat Market district, this youth dance company is certainly growing up fast as they premiere a triple bill of contemporary dance. 

Spark Youth Dance Company presented ‘Triplicity,’ a triple bill of contemporary works by three up and coming choreographers Jacinta Martorella (Recess), Alexandra Dellaportas (Weight) and Tahlia Klugman (Sea Shadow).

The Meat Market’s intimate stage allowed for a small audience to enjoy the dancing through a magnifying lens. When the music fell silent, the dancers’ breathing and footsteps were deafening. Mothers and fathers sat proudly in the audience, giving standing ovations to all involved.  

Recess

This opening piece reminded me instantly of Adam Wheeler from his Chunky Move era. 22-year-old choreographer Jacinta has learned from contemporary leader Adam Wheeler and it is clear that his experimental choreographic process has rubbed off on her. ‘Recess’ had a pull of contrasts throughout its piece comparing a playful school ground setting to a very ‘drone-like’ technological soundtrack. Thought had gone into the dancers’ costumes, which were blue and red scrubs, bringing a symbol of a prison within a playground. Child-like features such as scarecrow tiggy and hand-clapping really gave this piece its playful credentials.

Recess choreographed by Jacinta Martorella. Connie Smith Photography.

Weight

Spark Youth Dance Company’s director Alex Dellaportas brought her perception of ‘Weight’ featuring a mixture of ages. The fluid motions paired with contractions of the body made for an aesthetically pleasing performance. It is apparent that Alex had brought her knowledge from Deakin University into the pre-professional setting by adopting an educational style of choreography. There were also psychological connotations attached to this piece where the dancers physically depended on one another, causing tension and even flight responses from some of the dancers.  

Weight choreographed by director Alex Dellaportas. Connie Smith Photography.

Sea Shadow 

A young choreographer by the name of Tahlia Klugman took the backdrop of the ocean and dived the dancers straight into the concept of light and shadow. Reflected in a physical form, the dancers played with dimly lit paper bags, reminding me of an anglerfish from Finding Nemo (a species of fish with a light on its head). This piece did not move as much in a physical sense, but rather flirted with the dripping noises of the soundtrack and took movement into a much slower and more repetitive context. 

Sea Shadow choreographed by Tahlia Klugman. Connie Smith Photography.
Spark Youth Dance Company has certainly grasped the adolescent dance space, spreading their wings as far as their minds can believe. Mature choreography performed by dancers some as young as seven-years-old makes for a unique and ultimately heart-melting dance journey.