A “curtain” of glowing green light separates the audience from the stage as we enter the Bay 17 auditorium at Carriageworks. After a burst of jagged sound, the light softens and we see through to the wide open stage, which has a number of illuminated, hanging cocoons from which 13 young bodies gradually emerge. Jerking, twisting and shaking, they shed a flimsy white covering to appear not as butterflies but as small organisms – insects or creatures of some sort in hooded brown jumpsuits.

It’s an intriguing start to The Last Season, a new work from dance theatre company Force Majeure. As it turns out, it’s the highlight in a piece in which the design – set and costumes by Marg Horwell, lighting by Damien Cooper – and the music by Kelly Ryall are the most compelling elements.

Pamela Rabe as Summer and members of the youth ensemble. Photograph @ Brett Boardman

The Last Seasonwas commissioned by Carriageworks and is presented as part of Sydney Festival. Directed and choreographed by Force Majeure Artistic Director Danielle Micich,...