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 Da Contents H2

September 11 2013
Happy as Larry—poor Larry
Fiona Carter: Shaun Parker & Company, Happy As Larry

September 5 2013
Ethereal exchanges
Mike Bodnar: Polytoxic, Tradewinds

September 4 2013
A Winning punch
Nicola Fearn: Roslyn Oades, I’m Your Man

Not so strange strangers
Nicola Fearn: Polytoxic, Trade Winds

August 26 2013
Hands up, head down!
Fiona Carter: Roslyn Oades, I'm Your Man

Happiness against the odds
Kaye Hall: Shaun Parker & Company, Happy as Larry

August 26 2013
Larry is sombre
Nicola Fearn: Shaun Parker & Company, Happy as Larry

DARWIN FESTIVAL
Shaken out of the everyday
Nicola Fearn: Yumi Umiumare with Theatre Gumbo, DasSHOKU SHAKE!


The not so sweet science
Mike Bodnar: Roslyn Oades, I'm Your Man

Vigorous ruminations on happiness
Mike Bodnar: Shaun Parker & Company, Happy as Larry

August 23 2013
Art shocks, capitalism quakes!
Kaye Hall: Yumi Umiumare & Theatre Gumbo, DasSHOKU SHAKE!

DARWIN FESTIVAL
August 23 2013
Expectations and cultural crossovers
Fiona Carter: Tracks Dance Company, Zombies In the Banyan Tree


Kecak, breakdancing, tension & harmony
Kyle Walmsley: Tracks Dance Company, Zombies In the Banyan Tree

 

Ethereal exchanges

Mike Bodnar: Polytoxic, Tradewinds

Mike Bodnar is a Canadian living in Alice Springs. He teaches middle school and every Thursday 5.00-6.00pm he hosts a one-hour roundup of the arts in the Red Centre on 102.1 FM 8CCC http://8ccc.com.au.

Leah Shelton & Lisa Fa'alafi, Tradewinds, Polytoxic Leah Shelton & Lisa Fa'alafi, Tradewinds, Polytoxic
courtesy the artist
As the music for Polytoxic’s Tradewinds becomes more focused and takes on a simple piano melody, there is just enough sunlight remaining to make out the shape of two women in billowy white dresses walking on the surface of Darwin’s Waterfront Recreational Lagoon. These fairytale-like figures bend slightly to inspect a few of the many origami boats floating in the lagoon. Though they converge in the centre of their watery stage they don’t seem to notice one another as natural light gives way to the pale yellow and red projected onto their dresses.

Tradewinds is the work of Brisbane-based dance theatre company Polytoxic teamed with visual artist Samuel Tupou. By means of a submerged barge the two women seem to walk and dance on water while their elaborate dresses and the simple props they hold form screens for a dreamy laser show. This is an encounter between two women, perhaps two cultures, similar but distinct, brought together by the Pacific Ocean tradewinds.

There are times when the dresses are almost perfectly reflected in the water. The figures are bathed in liquid light that changes from purples and greens through to yellows and blues. The dresses and the umbrellas provide a surprisingly flat plane on which to project crisp and clear images of pigs, dragonflies and Polynesian patterns. Palm trees grow on the dresses and we see the dancers at times react to these animated figures.

The performance is set to a simple musical arrangement. Beginning with piano and xylophone it replicates the naïve demeanour of the characters interacting with their new surroundings. There is a bubbly, almost underwater theme to the melody that creates a feeling of levity and wonderment. That sound moves to a faster tempo and a more complex melody when the women, who have been moving on their own, reach out to touch, and as if in a mirror reflection, trace the other’s movements.

At one point the women exchange the hand-held fans they flutter, suggesting similar but distinct cultures. Though the fans are different shapes, they perform the same function and are used with ease. Similarly, the two move together in the same direction but never quite make a perfect reflection of the other until the motion and the music slow to end the show in the blue light of imagined Pacific waters.

To properly see the laser projections, the large crowd needed to gather in front of the performance. Some form of elevated seating might have enabled more people to enjoy it. Those fortunate enough to find a good spot were treated to a dreamy and ethereal spectacle worthy of a fine location.


Darwin Festival, Polytoxic. Trade Winds, visual artist Samuel Tupou. Darwin Recreation Lagoon, 22-25 August

The NT Writers’ Centre’s RealTime Workshop project is supported by the Australian Government Regional Arts Fund and the Northern Territory Government.

Mike Bodnar is a Canadian living in Alice Springs. He teaches middle school and every Thursday 5.00-6.00pm he hosts a one-hour roundup of the arts in the Red Centre on 102.1 FM 8CCC http://8ccc.com.au.

© Mike Bodnar; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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