The Dance Massive festival starts this week and will present a huge array of work at the Arts House, the Dancehouse and the Malthouse Theatre.
This is the second part of our chats to a selection of the artists performing at the Arts House space in North Melbourne- with so many diverse and exciting shows on across the three venues and two weeks, Theatre People explored three more unique shows from the festival. Read our first feature: https://www.theatrepeople.com.au/dance-massive-its-time-to-dance/
TANGI WAI… The cry of water- Victoria Hunt
Tue 14 – Sat 18 March
Unfortunately, Australian/ Maori artist Victoria Hunt was so deep in rehearsing in with her new local performers that we weren’t able to discuss her new show, Tangi Wai, in more detail.
Merging installation, theatre and dance, the show transports audiences to the Maori realm of spirits Te Arai, in a richly detailed and large scale exploration of mythology, cosmology and traditional wisdom. The immersive experience is an ensemble piece about female authority and indigenous creativity through Pacific, Asian and Western dance practices.
Five Melbourne performers were selected by Hunt at a one day audition and workshop in January, and these young women have been working in a performance incubator style process on the show. Many of these performers are quite young and developing their practices and skills so this show is set to be quite an experience.
An extra show has been added for this evocative performance, which warns of nudity, strobe and laser lighting, and a forceful communion with the forgotten and the feared.
More information and tickets: http://dancemassive.com.au/program/tangi-wai-cry-water/
Divercity- Mariaa Randall
Wed 22 – Sun 26 March
Mariaa Randall’s latest offering celebrates belonging, shared meaning and cultural individuality, with Divercity exploring place, people, landscapes and language within Aboriginal culture.
Two female dancers, Henrietta Baird and Ngioka Bunda-Heath, each living in separate Australian cities and belonging to two different Aboriginal countries, contemplate the complexities of a transplanted life.
“Divercity started as a means to share the many different ways in which Aboriginal languages, movement, paint up and stories differ depending on whose country you are on,” says Randall.
“The journey of Divercity has contained many moments of discovery with the pulling apart of ideas to see if they are capturing what it is that I have in my head. At times it does become a little lonely in the beginning to find the right ways in which to craft something intangible into the real”.
“The concept emerged as a short dance film as part of my Masters in Animateruing degree at VCA. It captured four dancers, all from different countries and all moving in different ways. In such a simple form, diversity is present through movement, and from this realisation came the desire to expand and share it with as many people as possible” she said.
The show has been part of development through Arts House’s program, CultureLAB in 2015 and 2016. At the end of the 2016 development Divercity began to materialise into a showcase of dance, language, and visual art made up of powder, paint and projection.
“The creative developments of the work have dared to ask ‘When you live away from home and reside in the city, on someone else’s land. Does it change your relationship to country?’” said Randall.
The performances give shape and form to their connection to land and culture, and to share the layers of cultural diversity through dance.
“We carry country in our bodies wherever we go through our language, movement, bloodline, stories, memories, connect to place, designs of paint up and humour. I am hoping to share story through language, visual art, laughter and dance” Randall said.
More information and tickets: http://dancemassive.com.au/program/divercity/
Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច– Nick Power
Tue 14 – Sat 18 March
Between Tiny Cities is the story of two b*boys from different cities and countries coming together to explore friendship, style and difference. Choreographed by Sydney hip hop dance artist Nick power, and accompanied by beats and sound design by Jack Priest, the show blends the raw energy of b*boy battles with skilful chorography, offering a cross cultural perspective.
It has been quite the journey, starting in 2014 with two crews coming together at Darwin Festival – D*City Rockers from Darwin and Tiny Toones from Phnom Penh. They learnt from each other, created together, battled at a Block Party and forged the connections.
“Since then we have gone to Phnom Penh and back again, connecting with the community through Tiny Toones and beginning to develop the work. It really has been an organic, community driven process that has unfolded in a way that has given us time to build and explore” said Power.
The show centres on dancers Erak Mith, from Phnom Penh and Aaron Lim, from Darwin, who use rituals, movement styles and language of their shared hip hop culture to reveal the dramatically different worlds that surround them, and share the choreographic links between them.
“I hope that the audience get a sense of the adventure this project has taken us on and that the heart of the piece shines through – which is really the connection between Erak and Aaron, who are the dancers, one from each crew”, he said.
Presented by Arts house and ACCOMPLICE, the show is a result of a three year dance exchange program, culminating in 60 evocative minutes of culture and dance from two different, but uniquely linked worlds.
More information and tickets: http://dancemassive.com.au/