Elise May in Natalie Weir's Behind Closed Doors.
Elise May in Natalie Weir's Behind Closed Doors. Chris Herzfeld

Dancers take a look behind closed doors

GLIMPSING beyond hotel room doors is a privilege normally reserved for hotel staff but Expressions Dance Company's latest offering gives us a scintillating, forbidden peek.

Behind Closed Doors squints through the keyhole, allowing the audience as the voyeur into the private lives of a maid and her guests.

Through cleverly choreographed movement, Natalie Weir achieves organised chaos on the stage as suited business people dart every which way with little concern for those around them.

But the impressively crafted hotel lobby scenes are poignantly juxtaposed against the inner battles of those behind each door.

The strength and athleticism of EDC's dancers, as always, are first class, showing human fragility through powerfully emotive dance.

Their bodies illuminate the raw emotion of their characters, yet making complex lifts and manoeuvres seem effortless.

Alana Sargent brings strong energy to her role as the maid, fantasising about her own dreams while remaining mostly invisible to guests.

Richard Causer and Michelle Barnett in Expressions Dance Company's latest offering Behind Closed Doors.
Richard Causer and Michelle Barnett in Expressions Dance Company's latest offering Behind Closed Doors. Chris Herzfeld

Benjamin Chapman and Elise May, long-time EDC favourites, pull off a crafty piece of theatre as the dark man sinking into addiction and the lonely woman realising her love is slipping away.

It's obvious these two have worked together for years. They trust each other completely, allowing them to take the choreography to the next level.

Richard Causer's business man character brings to life the sometimes real struggle with gender.

In one of the standout scenes, he and Jake McLarnon use mirrors to add another dimension to their dancing - creating the striking illusion of eight muscly men when exploring the business man's masculine side.

Michelle Barnett is also excellent as the business man's feminine side and guest Chinese artist Xu Yiming embodies the chameleon well, demonstrating a sharp understanding of body movement as he slinks around his bed.

It's impossible not to mention Trichotomy - a musical ensemble that while ever-present on the stage blends superbly into the background, only drawing attention as drama unfolds.

Together with sax player Rafael Karlen, they narrate each scene flawlessly.

Through a flitter here, a thump there and the gritty vocals of Kristin Berardi, they match the dancers' fluidity during every minute of this hour-long show.

But this piece is more than just a dance performance - it takes a magnifying glass to addiction, sexuality, domestic violence and gender.

To depict such complex issues through dance is a credit to this team and is sure to raise much-needed discussion among audience members and hopefully the wider community.

Behind Closed Doors runs until Saturday May 27 at QPAC's Playhouse theatre. Tickets cost $59-$69.

Visit http://expressionsdancecompany.org.au/edc/behind-closed-doors/ for more information.