"DRILL is a welcome presence on the Australian stage."
On an empty stage, noiseless save for the squeaking of sneakers, three men in formation are travelling towards the audience. Their movements, while dance-like are not dance; they are reminiscent of the loose, visceral action more often seen on a football field. And the stage becomes, by consequence, a locker room, a playing field.
This combination of contemporary performance, dance and sports was precisely what choreographer and performer Ahilan Ratnamohan wanted to explore in creating DRILL, his three-man show at Riverside Theatre.
The result is an intuitive show in which bodies navigate the stage through a naturally evolving series of modes of physical expression: boxing turns into wrestling that transforms into contemporary dance movements of flipping, lifting and throwing. Imanuel Dado in particular is a standout, particularly when he, in the midst of a tightly choreographed fight scene, raises his fellow performer above his head to perform a series of lifts. Such is the beauty of Drill's fluid and highly physical sensibility: highly charged scenes give way to moments of surprising beauty, and even humour. For example, after another particularly high impact routine, the men break open bags of ice that they toss on the ground and throw to each other.
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DRILL is a welcome presence on the Australian stage.