A public showing of his development of ‘There Is So Much More’ serves as an exorcism of sorts for Melbourne based performing artist Luigi Vescio.
Presented at Melbourne’s foremost home of contemporary dance, Chunky Move, with support from the Australia Council, the dense and confronting work flows in a hypnotic, cyclical fashion. Under the naked glow of white light, Vescio’s discipline in movement is highlighted, and ‘There Is So Much More’ offers a glimpse into his somewhat chaotic view of dance. Moments of serene, patient beauty are contrasted with those of intense, reckless abandon, aided by an undulating, complimentary live score performed by Andy O’Connor, which seems at times to descend in to madness, only to be brought back to a place of comfort. Live instrumentation including drumming and analogue synthesisers creates a certain tension which has excellent interplay with the dance.
There Is So Much More features only Vescio and his collaborator Niharika Senapati, along with their live sound designer. Their chemistry as performers is undeniable, and utterly engrossing. Throughout the performance, they meet one another’s intensity and conviction, allowing reality to be suspended as the audience is transported into their world. While it is difficult to discern a narrative arc in There Is So Much More, there is a distinct display of anguish making its way to calmness. In a poignant and gripping final scene, the two performers whisper to each other over ambient chords, while running their hands through their hair, seemingly cleansing themselves.
Vescio and Senapati are both regular contributors to Chunky Move works, and their collective experience provides an electrifying audience experience. Perhaps the finest and most challenging element of There Is So Much More is its apparent bold defiance of contemporary dance convention. In a particularly fascinating moment, the performers lay on the floor gently taping a single finger each, as though they are typing morse code. Contrast this tiny fraction of movement with the abrasive shaking and simulated boxing which creeps its way into the performance, and as a viewer you are left with something that sits between performance art and dance, straddling that line in an immersive way.
The sheer spread of ideas that make their way into There Is So Much More positions it as a culmination of Vescio’s artistry, a coup de grâce of his own craft. Though, far from seeming over-stuffed, each element incorporated has a striking necessity and immediacy. For a young, upcoming artist presenting one of his first original works, There Is So Much More comes across as a bold mission statement for Vescio, an exorcism of all that plays on his mind, through considered movement and performance. To see such fresh ideas bubbling to the surface in this collaboration, to see something which is so raw and hosts so much potential is truly thrilling.