Choreographed by Jo Lloyd, Confusion for Three highlights the varying degrees of confusion, misinterpretation and delusions that arise from the act of communication.
The North Melbourne Town Hall is completely empty but for a large white square in the centre of the space. It is in this square that the three performers (Rebecca Jensen, Shian Law and Jo Lloyd) writhe, contort and propel their limbs through the air, or become entangled in a muddle of bodies, their limbs tied together as they attempt to communicate a way out.
Initially this jumble of bodies in space feels uncontrolled, even unrefined. But as the performance continues, we begin to feel a deep logic to the order of the work. There is no obvious way in for an audience because the work is in fact precisely about the failure to communicate, the failure to accurately embody the thoughts in our heads or the dialogue of our hearts. Yet underlying all of this is an evident need to communicate – an anxiety to be understood. What occurs in the space is a failure to connect: with the audience striving (straining even) to understand and the performers struggling to be understood.
The craft behind the work is strong and the technique is what keeps it from falling into a muddy soup of ambiguity. The three dancers are immensely watchable as they desperately attempt to inscribe meaning into the space. Similarly, the score (Duane Morrison) highlights the internal logics of the piece (thus providing a way-in for the spectator) and propelled the piece with a curious and complex musicality.