Carmen Sweet at the Q Theatre in Queanbeyan was an hour of dance on a Friday night when perhaps the lure of being a couch potato could have kept us at home at the end of a long week but the centrifugal red lips couch – a velour copy of the famous Mae West inspired Salvador Dali creation – was a much better option.
Lured also by the promise of Expressions Dance Company’s more intimate version of Carmen Sweet originally created for a performance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, with all the heady passions and pleasure of Bizet’s Carmen this was “a journey of seduction, jealousy, lust and revenge” according to Dance Australia. Danced by six brilliant dancers who epitomise Expressions Dance Company’s pursuit of excellence and supported by local dancers who auditioned and rehearsed for their memorable role in a rose ceremony with the handsome Matador Escamillo that took the mickey out of the current unbearable versions, this was a theatre experience to remember.
Don Jose was danced by former Canberra local and Quantam Leap graduate Jack Ziesing, and as a young soldier smitten by the wild and wonderful Carmen with the flame red hair and a sensuous and sexy presence you know it’s not going to end well when she is swept off her feet – actually there’s quite a lot of that bouncing on and off those luscious red lips – by the impressive Matador Escamillo. Bring on the jealousy and revenge, translate the wisdom of the fortune teller and be prepared for the inevitable.
What a clever and inspired production, the choreography by Artistic Director of Expressions Dance Company’s Natalie Weir is physically beautiful and sensual, energetic and emotional and the inspired use of three dancers to play the alter egos of Carmen was at times like a four-way tango with languorous intertwining and contemporary dance fusing.
One of the most extraordinary hours of dance I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.