INTERCHANGE FESTIVAL 2015
Day 3 – Speak Local
On Day 3 of Interchange, the SPEAK LOCAL forum invited 12 NSW artists to engage in intercultural exchange and present their work in an informal setting. Curated by Margie Medlin and Annalouise Paul, this local public forum included a performance program and discussions. The schedule included:
WeiZen Ho and Alan Schacher
For this performance we use spices for their references to kitchen, tradition, trade, for their colours and scents. For WeiZen the history of the Dutch East India Company, trading through The Straits of Melaka, is tied to a history of colonisation and of the Chinese Diaspora.
Also shoes, which open onto so many cultural markers and taboos. Alan’s references include the artists Wolfgang Laib, Anish Kapoor, Franko B, Doris Salcedo, and holocaust memorials in Washington and Budapest.
Alan and WeiZen live and work an intercultural life, WeiZen is a Malaysian-born Chinese and Alan is an Australian-born Jew. They have performed across Asia including Melaka Arts and Performance Festival, Malaysia and The Arts Island Festival and Undisclosed Territory in Indonesia. They collaborate in site-specific improvisational renditions of their process, as well on Sound Bites Body, an improvisational event WeiZen curates in The Blue Mountains. They recently completed the first stage of Unappeased, a project examining insatiability through the lens of the Hungry Ghost metaphor.
A sketch for two new dance works in development; Forge and Self Portrait. Each work looks at multifaceted identities of self and uses Annalouise’s hybrid language of flamenco and contemporary dance. She will share her current research projects, Hidden Rhythms and Dance DNA as part of her ongoing choreographic exploration.
Annalouise Paul has been exploring ideas about identity using contemporary-cultural dance hybridism with live music for nearly thirty years. She recently returned from Singapore on a new collaboration with Maya Dance Theatre supported by Arts NSW and won an inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Award and NSW Premiers Export Scholarship 2013 for tours in India with her company, Theatre of Rhythm and Dance.
Paschal Daantos Berry
The presentation will be about developing intercultural works through interdisciplinary processes. Framing the talk around a ten year collaborative partnership with Manila-based artists from Anino Shadowplay Collective, performer Valerie Berry and artist/dramaturg Deborah Pollard. The presentation will be largely informed by my practice of traversing the interdependent worlds of dramaturgy, theatre and dance making, and currently curating for Blacktown Arts Centre. Perhaps suggesting that, this sense of multiplicity is what keeps me immersed in intercultural works.
Paschal Daantos Berry is performance maker, writer, curator and dramaturg whose practice is focused on interdisciplinary, cross cultural and collaborative processes. He has worked for Urban Theatre Projects (UTP), Radio National (ABC), Griffin Theatre, the Australian Choreographic Centre and Quantum Leap Youth Choreographic Ensemble, Belvoir Asian Theatre Festival, Performance Space, Blacktown Arts Centre, ATYP, Canberra Youth Theatre and NORPA.
A new installation ritual performance project by the ‘Opal Vapour’ artists (Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, Paula van Beek and Ria Soemardjo), explores themes of tidal shorelines, relocation, asylum and shelter through the activation of objects (vessels) and audiences.
Jade and Ria will present fresh performance material created by focusing on forming a choreographic score for both performers and audience. Physically exploring the waves of motion in ritual procession, bodies and objects, the artists will undertake tasks of moving, (re)locating, stillness, settling, ebbing and flowing.
Integrating movement, music and rhythmic structures, Jade and Ria will explore the long slow beat cycles and the contrasting fast kotekan (interlocking patterns) that are unique to traditional Javanese dance / music and the way particular states are induced in performer and audience.
The artists are seeking to share their work with a broader and more culturally diverse audience, and to make a work that is accessible and engaging for audiences who are not necessarily familiar with contemporary dance forms.
Aruna Gandhi and Anisha Thomas
A collaborative work in progress featuring the Indian-classical dance style of Bharatanatyam accompanied by piano. ‘Naayika’(meaning the heroine in Sanskrit) tells the story of a woman who experiences a myriad of emotions in relation to her lover – love, distress, hope, disappointment, strength, confusion, anger and compassion and ultimately finds her happiness within her own self.
Through this performance we are exploring ways of integrating and blending two distinct artistic styles – Indian classical dance and the Western classical music. We’re looking at how the two art forms inspire and influence each other…. How the Indian traditional dance movements, rhythm, gestures and facial expressions inspire and respond to the western classical sounds of the piano….
Thomas is presenting two short pieces – 1 about features and stereotypes of Aboriginal Australia and the other about his connection to a specific area of land … Being that both are being developed with in an indigenous context but utilising different subject matter.
The Shifter, which explores the concept of “Shape-shifting” or transformation – a common theme in many indigenous cultures that involves a change in the form, shape or character of a person to another person or an animal. This work is currently in development and the original research phase was conducted in far north Queensland with my cultural guide, Marilyn Miller. In subsequent developments, I explored this concept through 3D motion capture technology and set design.
Raghav is an Australian choreographer and performer of Indian heritage with training in modern and Indigenous contemporary dance. In 2012, he choreographed KumKum PACT in Sydney and explored time manipulation using rhythmical movement patterns. His choreographic practice was supported in 2013 through: Kick Start (Next Wave), Ausdance NSW, Research Residency (Critical Path) and JUMP (Australia Council for the Arts). In 2014-15, Raghav choreographed and performed Tukre’ at Dancehouse in Melbourne (Next Wave Festival), Metro Arts in Brisbane and at the Parramatta Riverside Theatres in Sydney (FORM dance). Raghav continues to develop his next solo work The Shifter, and his new ensemble work through Strut Dance SEED residency in Perth.
Window by Murasaki Penguin
Concept and sound: David Kirkpatrick
What is home? Is it a place, feeling or time? Could ‘home’ be hidden away inside our bodies? We look out from inside, with eyes as windows, allowing others to see us.
“I can see you seeing a view. I can also see the view through you.”
Liz Lea will give a short presentation of a Ruth St Denis solo from 1906 followed by a showing of a work in progress – Star Struck – a new cross cultural company work looking to the skies for inspiration, guidance and permission. Included is a film by Sean Goebel.
“… reconnecting with historical cross-cultural work and meeting other younger artists in the wider cross-cultural field.” – Liz Lea
Image credit: Speak Local, Interchange Festival 2015. Photo by Heidrun Löhr.