Intense duet echoes b*boy battles from Phnom Penh to Darwin

In Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច, dancers Erak Mith, from Phnom Penh, and Aaron Lim, from Darwin, use the rituals, movement styles and language of their shared hip-hop culture to reveal the dramatically different worlds that surround them and uncover the choreographic links that unite them.

Choreographed by internationally-renowned Sydney hip-hop dance artist Nick Power and accompanied by the beats and sound design of Jack Prest, the work blends the raw, wild energy of b*boy battles with skilful improvisation and choreography, offering a cross-cultural perspective on style, culture and locality.

The project is the result of a four-year dance exchange between Darwin’s D*City Rockers and Cambodia’s Tiny Toones youth program. The two crews have travelled, trained, battled and performed together, and Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច, is the culmination of that exchange.

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Reviews

“Two men use the rituals, movement styles and language of their shared hiphop culture to explore points of commonality and difference. The result is an intelligent, expressive and engaging production which gently subverts preconceptions around hip-hop and masculinity… A rich exploration of the possibilities of hip-hop choreography and an early highlight of Dance Massive.”

– Richard Watts, Arts Hub (full review)

It is a duet of intersecting limbs, pulsing unison and a reactive physical banter characteristic of dancers working together, rather than as individuals.

The boys barely take their eyes off each other for the 40 minute duration and only leave the round space for seconds to grab bottles of water. There’s the expected displays of head spins and inverted balances but these are really a small part of a varied vocabulary that borrows even from contact improvisation and the more micro movements of contemporary dance.  

It’s playful and exploratory rather than aggressive or overly showy and the boys display both intense concentration and a cocky levity.

Dance Reviews Melbourne (full review)

Creative Team

Choreographer Nick Power
Dancers Aaron Lim & Erak Mith
Sound Designer Jack Prest
Lighting Designer Bosco Shaw
Dramaturg Lee Wilson
Creative Producer Britt Guy – ACCOMPLICE
Tour Producer Harley Stumm – Intimate Spectacle

History

Arts House, Melbourne (Dance Massive), March 2017
Skateistan, Phnom Penh, March 2017

Production Notes

Duration: 40 minutes. Performance is staged within a 10m diameter circle in a room of minimum dimensions 12m x 12m. Audience stands around perimeter of circle, so capacity is 100. Suits studio theatres, halls or any flat floor room, ideally with lighting grid. Outdoor staging also possible. Touring team: 4.

Download Info Pack & Tech Specs (1.8MB PDF)

Acknowledgements

Between Tiny Cities was developed with the support of the Australian Government through Catalyst – Australian Arts & Culture Fund, and through the Australia Council for the Arts; and of Artback NT and Accomplice. Intimate Spectacle is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.