BelcoArts-Mess-photo-by-Andrew-Sikorski.

DANCING ISOLATION IN 'MESS' AT BELCO ARTS

October 2, 2020

With case numbers under control in the ACT, and restrictions easing, I was privileged to be back on-stage this week as one of two performers, alongside the extraordinary Miriam Slater, in MESS, a contemporary dance piece directed by Natsuko Yonezawa about the Hikikomori - that is, the phenomenon of social recluses in contemporary Japan.

It was fantastic to be part of one of the first shows in the new theatre at Belconnen Arts Centre, and though the restrictions still in place meant capacity was limited, the full-houses for the four shows felt every bit like being back in the saddle. The subject matter inspired some satisfyingly dark, absurdist, Butoh-like movement, creating "a purgatory of inescapable rage and anguish". And personally, the show was a welcome chance to jam with some new people, and get some of the rust off my joints with a LOT of high-intensity physicality, after spending most of this year behind a desk with my writer's hat on.

"Carroll is as nimble and alert as ever, using his expressive limbs and delicate balance with great panache. "

- John Lombard, rockcityjester.com

"An audience watches the struggle in fascination, absorbed by the artistry and skill of the performers as they struggle with their tormented solitude, desperately striving to make contact with meaning, obsessed by their pain, physically galvanized with contorted shock by the demons within."

- Peter Wilkins, Canberra Critics' Circle