Words: Caitlin Finnerty
Habitat is a captivating multidisciplinary solo dance show, drawing inspiration from the hermit crab’s life cycle as a metaphor for the artist’s immigration to Canada. Co-presented by Dance Base and Assembly, the performance plunges the audience into darkness, illuminating the dancer with only a spotlight. With astonishing body control, the dancer embodies crab-like motions and alien undulations, accompanied by live breathing sounds and effects that intensify the immersive experience.
Central to the show is the paper sculpture Hermes, a stunning arrangement of 600 articulable paper cones resembling dragon scales. Clever lighting accentuates both the sculpture’s intricacies and the dancer’s fluidity, with subtle internal lighting hinting at the enigmatic being within.
Habitat delves into growth, confinement, and emergence, cleverly incorporating acrobatics to portray the crab’s transformative journey. While occasionally unsettling, the dancer’s careful artistry and the seamless fusion of sculpture and movement create an immersive encounter reminiscent of an otherworldly being within a sac. The eerie atmosphere, combined with scuttling movements and lurking sensations, evokes a world of creepy crawlies, capturing the disconcerting allure of the crab’s voyage.
Habitat skilfully balances creativity and disquiet, carving a memorable narrative through its unique storytelling and haunting aesthetics.
Assembly @ Dance Base
19-20, 22-27 Aug