Bushfires rage, banking systems collapse, the earth cracks open, a mysterious flu spreads unfettered… our televisions blare these news stories 24-7, matched by constant Twitter feeds, blogs and podcasts. History is ceaselessly in the making, but what do we make of it?
In the midst of humdrum domesticity and daily routine, the background whirr of broadsheets and instant bulletins create meaning and realities that get wedged inside us, sometimes fleetingly, sometimes forever. Perspectives of time and geographical distance then shift, and life marches on. In her most ambitious work to date, Lucy Guerincreates an innovative blend of dance and the spoken word to address the distorting merge of global and personal crises, bodies and events.
In Human Interest Story, Guerin confronts a daily reality saturated with the unceasing transmission of news. Political riots, celebrity lifestyles and our neighbor’s backyard are broadcast into our homes to watch during dinner. Concern over the kid’s lunches or home renovating competes with our compassion for flood and earthquake victims and we switch from one to the other as easily as changing channels.
Broadsheet headlines that make us reel today may well line the kitty-litter tomorrow, but what does it mean to have satellite bulletins passing through us as inescapably as the air we breathe? How does the media’s unending flow of words and images shape us? When we’ve switched off the TV, does the scramble of information still lodge itself somewhere deep inside us?
Created with an outstanding ensemble of dancers and collaborators, including a design by Gideon Obarzanek (Mortal Engine) with lighting by Paul Jackson (Elizabeth, The Tell-Tale Heart), Human Interest Story has been commissioned by Malthouse Theatre in partnership with Lucy Guerin Inc and the Perth International Arts Festival.
Lucy Guerin’s Structure and Sadness proved a major highlight for Malthouse Theatre audiences in 2006 and 2009, in which the collapse of Melbourne’s Westgate Bridge served as a stimulus for a mesmerising and potent merging of personal stories with a catastrophic event. Never sentimental but always engaging, her creations are uncannily articulate about shared experience and the things we recognise through feeling long before we find expression for them. In Human Interest Story, Lucy Guerin casts her trademark unsentimental eye and articulate choreography upon our consumption of current events, from the ambient burble of the nightly news as dinner is prepared, to the black moments of televised horror that stop us dead in our tracks
“Dance is always impure in Guerin’s work, its precision intersected with the unruliness of chance and the literalness of narrative bodies; yet through a thickness of encroaching meaning it reaches moments of lyrical purity, sheerly beautiful movement that escapes itself and lifts its resonance out of its specific time and place." THEATRENOTES (STRUCTURE AND SADNESS)
Venue: Merlyn Theatre, The CUB Malthouse, 113 Sturt St Southbank 3006
Opening Night: Saturday 24 July 7.30
Season: July 23 – August 1. Tuesday 6.30PM, Wednesday – Saturday at 7.30 PM, Sunday August 1 5PM. matinee Saturday 2PM
Booking Info: www.malthousetheatre.com.au 03 9685 5111
Ticket Prices: $23 – $49 min booking fee $1.50