How do you conjure meaning from movement?
We are told that the latest Sydney Dance Company production - 2 One Another - ''explores and celebrates relationships, interactions and the beauty of the human form''.
So we have a troupe of 16 dancers coming together, moving apart, on a stage backlit with thousands of cascading flashes of light, performing in harmony.
Sometimes they are dancing in pairs, sometimes they are alone.
Sometimes they are a pulsating crowd, both many and one, as the music reaches a crescendo and the lights at back blaze bright.
As the curtain goes up, we are in the dark, then the dim glimmering of limbs catching the light, moving as one.
By the end, the dancers have swapped their monochrome costumes for pillar-box red. The stage light has changed from harsh white to the warm gold of a late afternoon. The backstage shimmering has come from silver to rainbow.
The mind searches for meaning, for some narrative arc to make sense of it all.
Many are possible - from dark to light, stillness to movement, death to life ... but none does justice to the complexity of the work.
In the end, the only way to approach this work is with an open mind, and to marvel at the bodies moving in perfect form. Celebrating the fact that they are alive, and not yet cold and still.
Let it mesmerise you and be grateful, by the end, for a hour or so away from the usual hollow distractions and a chance to sink deep into something beyond meaning.
2 One Another is on at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre today (November 10) at 2pm and 8pm. Visit www.merrigong.com.au for tickets.