JUNK ENSEMBLE
THE STAGE
SARAH WILKINSON

THE FALLING SONG (touring)
12 March 2014

The success of The Falling Song lies in Jessica and Megan Kennedy's ability to present a poignant, often humorous, physicalisation of male relationships, and their delicate excavation of the nature of human trust.

On a set designed for adventure (Aedin Cosgrove's hedonistic playground of mattresses and ladders), the dancers play, sing, grapple, grope and taunt. Primal competitiveness is depicted by two men butting and locking heads together like antlers; innate similarities are expressed with all four men squatting together, buttocks hanging low, hands draped on the floor in neanderthal fashion.

Complex ideas of male bonding and bullying are honoured with more innovative, nuanced choreography. A dancer is teased by visibly mouthed (yet inaudible) aggressive whispers; individuals are led or dragged blindly across the stage before throwing themselves into flying hugs - leaping precariously yet faithfully towards waiting arms.

A children's choir infiltrates this testosterone-dominated space, bounding on to sing a series of catchy, illustrative songs. It provides an uncomfortable addition to the grown-up playtime and, though a joy to listen to, its presence is distracting.

Much of the choreographic detail in The Falling Song is exquisite, but the work is over-saturated and the stage occasionally too busy. The Kennedys should trust themselves more and ignore the impulse to move on from an idea before it has had a chance to breathe.