Theatre Works, St Kilda, Melbourne
By Regina Green
Project Y is the sister company of Collaboration – The Project. It has an ever-strengthening reputation for providing opportunities for young dancers to gain experience in a professional environment. Each season around 30 dance students and graduates aged 12 to 22 come together for six weeks to create a new work, which is then presented at Theatreworks in St Kilda.
iOverload is the latest Project Y creation, choreographed by Artistic Director Paul Malek, along with James Elmer, Freya List and Zoe Marsh. As the title suggests, it’s a comment on today’s world of excessive technology use, and its perils, through the eyes of young people.
This is a huge step up technically from the previous Project Y production, It Sounds Silly by 2nd Toe Collective’s Adam Wheeler. Physically, the young dancers are pushed to their limits in the style we have come to know from Malek, through his choreography for Collaboration. A large element of hip hop is also present, which is perhaps the influence of the co-choreographers.
Each and every dancer in iOverload should be commended for his or her performance. As individuals they performed with conviction. As a team they worked with awareness of each other and of the stories they were expressing. The obvious enjoyment and dedication of the next generation of dancers is a joy to watch.
This is an exciting new company which is going from strength to strength. Project Y really does live up to its goal of creating opportunities for Australian dancers and emerging choreographers, opening the world of dance up to a wider audience. The success of their shows is a testament to the passion and commitment of the creative team, the young performers, Paul Malek and Executive Director Merryn Tierney.