I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme and The Other Side use dance to explore mental health with two distinct flavours and a sprinkling of humour

I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The air-conditioned Main Theatre at Adelaide College of the Arts is home to a contemporary dance double-bill in I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme and The Other Side this Adelaide Fringe 2024.

I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme


Adelaide born and raised Liat Kedem is an Australian-Middle Eastern-Estonian dancer and choreographer. She performs the first piece I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme and choreographed the second The Other Side.

I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme is a 15 minute dance work choreographed by renowned Luxembourgish choreographer Jill Crovisier. Liat Kedem won the Adelaide Fringe 2014 best dance award for her previous work with Jill Crovisier named Bekitzor.

 Ravel’s Boléro is the music to which Liat performs I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme. Kedem engages with the audience immediately – walking from stage left on rollerblades stopping every few steps to turn to the audience and lick an ice-cream. Her face is very expressive and her enjoyment of those few licks palpable. But suddenly she starts choking, dramatically throwing the ice-cream to the ground and moving to the centre of the stage where a white rectangle is a stark contrast to the otherwise black stage.


Liat Kedem starts in this space laying down, doing some leg circles before the stage is suddenly dark and when relit Kedem is in another position, laying on her side looking at the audience. This process of darkness and relighting only to see Kedem in a different position happens a few times to increasing amusement of the audience.


As the Ravel’s Boléro builds, so too do Kedem’s movements, becoming more commanding but also more angular. That Liat Kedem performs the whole piece on roller skates but without actually skating on them is quite remarkable. Some pointe work sees her standing only on the tips of the skates, something we imagine must be quite difficult to achieve, and to hold.


In The Other Side, a trio of female dancers perform both as a group and in their own solos. In contrast to Liat Kedem’s work which was largely performed on a small rectangular space on the large stage, this work sees the three dancers make full use of the whole of the stage. The piece opens with the women walking around the stage in circles making similar movements with their arms before one of the dancers stops. She appears scared. Her movements are more jagged while remaining fluid.


When the three dancers were performing the same movements but not in complete sync, we found it a little jarring wondering whether the movements were meant to be in sync or whether it was each dancer’s own expression of the movement.


The Other Side is more intense than the first with the dancers shaking violently at times and breathing heavily. Sometimes they would start in unison, at others it appeared almost as if one was triggering the other. Was this showing that you’re not going it alone? Or was it perhaps akin to the phenomenon of people developing Tourette’s like tics through watching others with tics on social media?


The piece may sound heavy from our words but it isn’t without comedy. One dancer finds the music changing and when it turns to opera, she screws up her face and appears to be wanting to turn it off. Her disturbed hitting at the air made us think of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth’s frustration with the ‘damned spot’.  


If it hadn’t been for the announcement at the beginning of the show informing audiences that the show was a recipient of the Mental Health Commissioner’s Performers Grant, we perhaps would not have viewed the show through a mental health lens. While we can see I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme as a dancer becoming more confident throughout the piece and in a way “finding her inner voice” as the show blurb describes, we would not necessarily have considered The Other Side to be exploring how we process change as we move through life”. We see some mental health issues expressed in it but didn’t make the connection with them being related to the difficulty of processing change.


Both I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme and The Other Side were interesting contemporary dance performances, with each of them quite different to the other. With the show lasting less than an hour, it is a good opportunity for people who aren’t sure about watching a long dance performance to dip their toe into the pond of dance.


Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Fringe


WHAT: I(CE) (S)CREAM Boléro Femme & The Other Side

WHERE: Adelaide College of the Arts, Main Theatre

WHEN: 19, 29 February, 1, 2 and 9 March 2024

HOW: Purchase your tickets via this link



Discover Adelaide Fringe shows with French and Francophone links here and French clown school trained artists performing at this year’s Fringe here

For events with French and Francophone links happening all across Australia this month, check out our What’s on in February

Related Posts

Matilda Marseillaise

Discover more from Matilda Marseillaise

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading