Reviews

TRACE – Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform 

“The first work on the program is a solo, Trace, conceived and danced by Mara Vivas and inspired by photographer Jon Crispin’s Willard Asylum Suitcase Project in which he has photographed suitcases stored in the Asylum long after the deaths of their owners. Photography is all about memory, a sliver of experience that remains alive for as long as the photograph lasts. In Crispin’s project he is not only recording the present but opening up the past. Vivas translates the suitcase into a freestanding dress (conceived by Matthias Strahm) in which she is both the contents and their stored memories. It is an idea that translates beautifully into dance and Vivas has the clarity of language to bring it to haunting reality. Her strong features remind me of photographs of Frida Kahlo and the intriguing black dress she wears has a bodice with vertical grillwork reminiscent of a cell door. Vivas traces memory, fixing her eyes on the past and using her arms as feelers around her, at one moment obsessively picking out details of her dress and at another searching space for a familiar compass sighting. She is both constrained by her dress and then excitedly dances it to a Hugo Diaz tango. There is a weight in her presence and a lightness in her sensibility as she sails out over the water, finally stepping out of her dress on to dry land and releasing the memories; she has gone but the dress and its traces remain.” – Nicholas Minns


TRIPTYCH – Resolution! 2015

“Neither too hot nor too cold, Mara Vivas’s Triptych is a deliciously slow burn. In the half light three dancers form a tableaux. The air around them is thick and they splice through the space with a series of arm gestures that escape upwards and outwards. There is a sinister undertow to the work. Vivas’s Grecian muses in their colour splashed tunics hint at an unspoken tragedy. Vivas is patient, courting a restless audience with simplicity and imagination. This approach pays dividends. The work is intoxicating and immersive without the need for bangs or whistles. With her sensitivity to mood and attention to detail Vivas has a promising talent.” – Philippa Newis

“Commencing with dancers facing upstage slowly stretching out and recoiling their arms, Mara Vivas’ Triptych took time to unfold. Patience was rewarded with what developed into a crisp, accomplished and miniaturist female trio. Clad in Susanne Stangl’s quietly eye-catching shifts (thin grey stripes on the back, floral stains on the front), serenely alert Elisabeth Schilling, Julie Schmidt and Fabiola Santana functioned as a painstakingly slippery clockwork unit. Was it one person or three-in-one stepping about the bare stage? A tantalisingly unresolved tension gradually revealed itself. The result? A finely fleshed-out illustration of how the ‘right’ kind of ambiguity of interpretation can arise from clarity of intention.” – Donald Hutera


TRACE – Audience Impressions

Delicate and curiously humorous, a combination of fine detail and sweeping movement that welcomes the audience into an astutely observed world of nuance and flow.” – Tamsin Jeffrey

“An intimate and intricate piece, like a journey of metamorphosis!” – Yoke Wong

“The mysterious skirt construction was so intriguing. It was a joy to watch the dancer move within its sometimes restrictive, sometimes empowering parameters. I can’t wait to see more of Mara’s work!” –  Alexandra Groover