Amalgamating aspects from cabaret, talent quest and educational forum, No Success Like Failure is the next instalment from Sydney’s most innovative, clever and moving dance trio, The Fondue Set.

No Success Like Failure takes inspiration from their last work, The Set (Up), which premiered to sold-out audiences. For the first time this twisted trio collaborate with an award-winning UK choreographer Wendy Houstoun to explore loss, emptiness, giving up, giving in and letting go -“ in both movement and text.

The show is not about a central theme or message. But we do discuss, through dance, ideas of success and failure. We try to present different manifestations of success and failure and what it looks like to be happy, dance lead Elizabeth Ryan told Sydney Star Observer.

There is no end punchline but we offer, throughout the performance, different ways of viewing the world -“ opening the audience’s mind to new ways of thinking.

Contemporary dance has come to include a wide array of genres. To narrow things down, The Fondue Set shies away from stereotypical high kicks and pirouettes and moves toward more pedestrian steps.

The individuality of the onstage show lies largely in its unique choreography, which dancers and non-dancers will undoubtedly appreciate, but also in its dark and unassuming humour.

Our signature is having an off-beat humour that comes out of the chemistry I have with the other two performers. We don’t set out to be funny, but our chemistry just is, Ryan said.

It’s a dark, edgy humour. We slide into a realism that is so confronting that it is humorous in a ridiculous way. Sometimes it can be tragically hilarious, which can often be evoked by ideas of failure.

Contemporary dance pieces sometimes signify performances that are so left-of-centre that they become unreadable. What makes The Fondue Set so successful is that their ability engages with their audience to put on a show that is visually stimulating, relatable as well as entertaining.

info: Tickets are $28, or $23 concession. Shows start from 4 June. To book, call 9250 7777 or visit

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