AHILAN RATNAMOHAN (AU/BE) – Arts House, Melbourne 7:30pm
Reviewer: Meagan Pfeiler
This evening I attended a performance of SDS1 – a solo dance inspired work created and performed by former soccer player Ahilan Ratnamohan, which explores the skilled physicality and athleticism of a footballer through choreographed movement.
SOCCER BECOMES THEATRE: STRIPPED BACK, EXTRACTED, FROZEN, REPEATED, ABSTRACTED
Walking into the performance space felt very intimate with the audience seated in the round. This was a highly appropriate setting as it immediately handed over the role of the crowd to the audience members who were seated around a plain “playing field” – leaving room for imagination and interpretation.
The storyline was challenging to follow, however, as the piece moved along it became more and more understandable. From what I perceived, the story follows a soccer player (Ratnamohan) through a game of football, who expresses his exquisite physicality and athleticism through opponent intimidation, injury, exhaustion and triumph. This work feeds off the audience and involves a fair deal of interaction and participation to help translate the movement. However, I feel that there is potential to possibly expand on the storyline in a way that encourages the audience to visualise the other players on the field who are counteracting his movements.
Ratnamohan’s technique with and without a soccer ball is very impressive, which makes his movements all the more intriguing. Multiple football skills have been incorporated with abstract movements that travel repeatedly in sequences to explore the storyline of the piece and captivate the audience. The choreography itself is very raw and fits in well with the realism of the theme and main objective of the work. There is very minimal choreography that is specifically identified as dance choreography. This performance is purely an art work that expresses a soccer players physicality and athleticism in the game, through the combination of professional football skills and interpretive movement.
Choreography – 80%
Value for money – 65%
Technique – 100%
Music Score – 60%
Storyline – 80%
Overall, a very interesting piece. Definitely take some time out to immerse yourself into the world of soccer solely through interpretation of skilful movement.