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in the loop - nov 8

realtime's advance word

Gianni Plazzi, Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On the Concept of the Face of God), Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio Gianni Plazzi, Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On the Concept of the Face of God), Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio
photo Klaus Lefebvre
fundamentals of free speech

Following recent attempts by fundamentalist elements of the Hindu community to censor the presentation of Back to Back’s Ganesh Versus the Third Reich in the Melbourne International Arts Festival, comes an attempt by far-right fundamentalist Catholics to shut down Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio's Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On the Concept of the Face of God), directed by Romeo Castellucci at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. As reported in CultureBot, the performance centres on a man caring for his dying father with a visceral depiction of bodily incontinence. At one point the son cleans up the shit-smeared floor in front of a projection of Christ by Renaissance painter Antonello de Messina. After losing a legal battle for an injunction on the grounds of anti-religious discrimination, the group calling itself the Alliance Against Racism and for the Respect of French and Christian Identity (thought to be connected to the Civitas Institute responsible for an April attack on Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ), has protested at the theatre, throwing stink bombs, engine oil and eggs onto queuing audiences and interrupting performances.

The theatre has issued a statement condemning the protests, stating “these behaviours are clear manifestations of fanaticism, that enemy of enlightenment and freedom against which, in glorious times, France has so successfully fought” (cited in Jeremy. M. Barker, Culturebot Far-Right Activists Try to Shut Down Theater Production in Paris, Oct 27). It has also issued a manifesto “Le Théâtre contre le Fanatisme” (“Theatre against fanaticism,” in French only), signed by notable French and international artists. A spokesperson for the French Catholic Church has also condemned the protests but calls for “free speech that respects the sacred.” The irony is that the work of Romeo Castellucci arguably creates theatre that is deeply religious and sacred, rethinking and recreating these concepts for contemporary contexts. Castellucci told Le Monde, the play is “in no way blasphemous or Christianophobe…but these activists can’t know that because they haven’t seen it.” (His statement, in French can be found here). It’s another example in a disturbing trend of knee jerk fundamentalist protest in which the work is not approached in context and in which interpretive, contextual and analytic thinking are overruled by dogma. (Key sources CultureBot; RFI; The Guardian)

good, clean fun

Multimedia performance group PIPS:Lab started ten years ago, growing out of the underground party scene in Amsterdam. According to their manifesto “a PIPS:lab project must always include multiple art forms, the audience must be involved using interactive techniques, fiction and reality are mashed up, the footage is always recorded live, high tec (sic) is made low brow, all elements of a show or installation (like wires, cables and screens) are visible on stage” (website). In November they will be bringing their high-energy theatre of the absurd to Australia, presenting The Washing Powder Conspiracy at Serial Space in Sydney and also at the Awesome International Arts Festival in Perth.

PIPS:Lab have extensively toured Europe with works such a Wortal Combat 3, an interactive game show where the audience assists the heroes to win the love of Lara Croft (chosen from the viewers each night) and including a larger-than-life version of the computer game Pong. They have also created the Lumisol concept in which participants, live on video paint with light to create an installation or a performance with leading graffiti artists. The Washing Powder Conspiracy focuses on live video editing and music made from non-conventional instruments like irons, washing machines and laundry baskets and “casually flirts with themes like democracy, capitalism, commercials and war” (website). Australian artist Fred Rodrigues, creator of the SMS Interactive Music System (S.I.M.S) (reviewed here) and the Heavy Metal Work Orchestra in which power tools improvise with musicians has been working with PIPS:Lab for the last year. PIPS:Lab, The Washing Powder Conspiracy, Serial Space, Sydney, Nov 11-12, free workshops Nov 13-14,; Awesome Arts, PICA Perth, Nov 21-27;

moving moments

Shiver, Danielle Micich Shiver, Danielle Micich
photo Ashley de Prazer
Performing Lines WA was established in 2008 as an offshoot of the Sydney-based organisation to undertake the Managing and Producing Services (MAPS) for Western Australia. It produces for five core artists/companies: Chrissie Parrott Performance Company, Sally Richardson, pvi Collective, Sue Peacock and Marrugeku. In addition it takes on key projects from independent artists and will soon be presenting Danielle Micich’s Shiver (to be reviewed in RT107). Micich was previously a director of STEPS Youth Dance Company and has already had a busy year creating a work for Buzz Dance Theatre, choreographing for a new contemporary opera, Into the Shimmer Heat, in which the lead role is danced, not sung, and participating in Force Majeure’s Cultivate Lab. Renowned for her emotive approach to dance, Micich in Shiver “explores the gamut of human emotion experienced by four people faced with loss” (press release) using the dancers' own stories as starting material. The cast includes Gerard Van Dyke from Melbourne’s KAGE Physical Theatre, with sound by Kingsley Reeve. Worth a look is the detailed blog that follows the development of the project. Performing Lines WA, Shiver, director Danielle Micich, performers Jacqui Claus, Lewis Kilpatrick, Leanne Mason, Gerard Van Dyck, sound Kingsley Reeve, lighting Joseph Mercurio; The Dolphin Theatre, University of WA, Crawley, Perth; Nov 17-19;

In South Australia, Restless Dance Theatre is presenting Debut 3—the dancers direct, in which three company dancers choreograph their own works. Working with the theme "the butterfly effect" the choreographers, Andrew Pandos, Jianna Georgiou and Lorcan Hopper, will be mentored by guest artists to develop their works. This is the third incarnation of Debut, with previous editions proving very popular, so booking is recommended. Restless Dance Theatre, Debut 3¬—the dancers direct, The Restless Studio, 234a Sturt St, Adelaide, Nov 11-12;

reconciling voices

Greg Fryer, Uncle Jack Charles (seated) and Melodie Reynolds, Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country, Ilbijerri/The Minutes of Evidence Project/La Mama Greg Fryer, Uncle Jack Charles (seated) and Melodie Reynolds, Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country, Ilbijerri/The Minutes of Evidence Project/La Mama
photo Steven Rhall
In Sydney at Performance Space we have the long awaited Posts in the Paddock by My Darling Patricia and Moogahlin Performing Arts (previewed in RT105 ). In Melbourne, Ilbijerri Theatre Company, The Minutes of Evidence Project and La Mama will present Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country. Based on the actual minutes of evidence from the Coranderrk Enquiry in 1881, the show gives voice to both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who took on the Board for the Protection of Aborigines in order to determine the future of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station. Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country “unites the power of oral history and the authority of the written word to forge a personal connection with the voices of the past” (press release) and includes testimony from key figures such as William Barak (see RT review of the recent NGV Barak commissions). Based on a concept by Giordano Nanni, with texts adapted by Nanni and Andrea James, Coranderrk is directed by Isaac Drandic with dramaturgy by Rachael Maza Long and features an impressive cast including Jack Charles (see reviews of Bastardy; Jack Charles V The Crown; and performance group Nightshift, Syd Brisbane, Jim Daly, Peter Finlay, Greg Fryer, Liz Jones, Tom Long, Melodie Reynolds and Glen Shea. The project is the work of extensive research thanks to a number of supporting partners such as the Australian Research Council, The Koorie Heritage Trust, The University of Melbourne,The State LIbrary of Victoria, The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc, and various state government agencies covering arts, health, education and regional arts. Ilbijerri Theatre Company, The Minutes of Evidence Project and La Mama, Courthouse Theatre, Nov 16-27;

pretty women

Flash Women, Juliette Knox in her Uluru dress, 2010, designer Yaneira Velasquez Flash Women, Juliette Knox in her Uluru dress, 2010, designer Yaneira Velasquez
photo Sam Walker
The State Library of Queensland has just opened Flash Women, an exhibition celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander style through photos and items of clothing worn by leading Indigenous women. Artist Walbira Murray writes, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women possess immense grace and beauty, although it’s often not celebrated in mainstream Australia. We are beautiful because we have the ability to rise above severe adversity and triumph over challenge” (website). The exhibition features items from a diverse range of women including jewellery and a cameo brooch from elder Aunty Ruth Hegarty, entrepreneur Juliette Knox’s Uluru dress and Raelene Baker’s Miss OPAL 1970 dress, sash, gloves and purse. While Flash Women is a celebration of fashion, it also serves to tell the lesser known stories of some of Australia’s inspirational women. Through Facebook, people can also send in photos of their own flash ladies to become part of the display. Flash Women, kuril dhagun Indigenous Knowledge Centre, level 1, State Library of Queensland; Nov 1 – Feb 24, 2012;

on the move

The Australia Council is undertaking an extensive consultation process in order to develop a framework for national touring. Consultants Rick Heath and Harley Stumm will be heading around the country over the next few months to gather feedback from artists and companies. The initiative aims to both map the current touring landscape and develop access to pathways and information, and also look to the future of touring in Australia. Consultation dates: Victoria, Nov 9, 10, Tasmania Nov 11, Darwin Nov 22, Adelaide Nov 24, 25; Cairns Dec 2; Brisbane Dec 5, 6; Sydney Dec 7, 8; Perth Dec 12; APAM workshop Adelaide Feb 27; Long Paddock Albury Wadonga April 3, 4. Register your interest to receive updates & further information with Katie Harford, Program Officer Market Development, email [email protected]; or phone 02 9215 9041.

RealTime issue #105 Oct-Nov 2011 pg. web

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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