Nevertheless, Cuatro is well worth a look. First you have the chance to see Charmene Yap, who retired from the stage last year to become the company’s rehearsal associate and is as elegantly eloquent as ever. Her graceful reach to the restricting walls of a small white room (the continuous set, with slight variations) is accompanied by oboist Diana Doherty playing music by Heinz Hollinger.
Then it is Davide di Giovanni looking as distraught as an Italian-born performer may well feel at this time: a strong portrayal to music by Niccolo Paganini played by violinist Andrew Haveron. Juliette Barton’s expressive response to her confining space is accompanied by cellist Umberto Clerici playing J.S. Bach. From June 26, you can also see Chloe Leong in more optimistic choreography, beautifully danced to the music of Claude Debussy, played by flautist Emma Sholl.
Cuatro can be found on SDC and SSO sites on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube until the end of July.
Queensland Ballet is offering something completely different, celebrating its 60th anniversary by giving everyone in the company a chance to choreograph and perform over the month of June. 60 Dancers: 60 Stories is emerging as two brief pieces a day, each about three minutes long.
The degree of creativity is variable, but the character and the quality of dancing hold your attention. And the locations are memorable – anywhere from apartments and balconies big and small to parks, gardens, backyards and the beach.
First up was Mia Heathcote, choreographing and dancing a classically inclined duet with Victor Estevez. Then, in contrast and setting the pattern of stylistic variety, a haunting contemporary dance solo by Edward Pope. The overall theme, introduced movingly by Queensland Ballet’s artistic director, Li Cunxin, is love, but each piece has a program note from the artists, ranging from personal to universal.
Already there are too many to describe, but those that have caught my imagination include the scarlet-frocked Libby-Rose Niederer with magnificent contrasting backdrops of trees and beach; the romantic duet by Yanela Pinero and Camilo Ramos in their crowded sitting room; the three housemates – Patricio Reve, Oscar Delbao and Charlie Slater – leaping around balletically with a soccer ball; and a sensitive solo by Shaun Curtis against a wall of vivid graffiti art.
While the viewing is free, all Australian dance groups offer the opportunity to donate if you can. Of all the performing arts, dance has a particularly tough battle to get back to live performance.