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the oracle, 2009

Paul White, The Oracle Paul White, The Oracle
photo Regis Lansac
The main inspirations for Meryl Tankard’s The Oracle come from the haunting work of Scandinavian painter Odd Nerdum, Nijinsky’s traumatic life and the experience of choreographing Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and the powerful images and spirit of Ingmar Bergman’s 1960 film The Virgin Spring.

A lone performer (Paul White) is revealed centre stage holding a long brown velvet cloak and wearing only white underpants and a small white medieval style cap/bonnet. He is the Oracle, the Augur in touch with the vital forces of Nature: the Seer and the Medium. But he also undergoes transformations.

Paul White, The Oracle Paul White, The Oracle
photo Regis Lansac
He shows his adoration of the Earth. It is dawn, the dawn of humanity; a time when harmony reigned between the forces of nature and man. He is the protector of the Earth; the medium who can interpret the signs of nature. He is also the youth, the young maiden, the spring and the hope for renewal. But he has premonitions, apocalyptic visions: war, devastation, famine, drought, climate change. He becomes the earth but then he knows that he has to sacrifice himself to save the world, to bring another spring. The Oracle is a metaphor for our present time. Meditative and sensual, disturbing and wise, he is the Oracle, the interpreter of signs we cannot afford to miss. What sacrifice will nature require to renew a harmony squandered by greed and indifference?

credits: concept, direction Meryl Tankard, choreography Meryl Tankard, Paul White, set design, video Regis Lansac, lighting design Damien Cooper and Matt Cox

performances: premiere Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, September 2009; Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, December 2009; Brisbane Festival, September 2010

Paul White, The Oracle Paul White, The Oracle
photo Regis Lansac
articles/reviews - realtime

dance bites
keith gallasch, realtime 94, december 2009-january 2010

for and of the city
keith gallasch, realtime 98, august-september, 2010



an experiment sealed by a stroke of serendipity
bryce hallett, sydney morning herald, september 8, 2009

an exceptional role that consumes and absorbs
jill sykes, sydney morning herald, september 19, 2009

the oracle: meryl tankard http://michellepotter.org/reviews/the-oracle-meryl-tankard
michelle potter, michelle potter on dancing, september 21, 2009

Paul White, The Oracle Paul White, The Oracle
photo Regis Lansac
the oracle: sydney opera house
lynne lancaster, artshub, september 21, 2009

tankard’s the oracle
nicole saleh, dance informa, september 30, 2009

out & about: the oracle
deborah jones, the australian, december 2, 2009

the oracle
stephanie glickman, herald sun, december 4, 2009

the oracle | malthouse theatre
carol middleton, australian stage online, december 4, 2009

a mysterious world brought to life
chloe smethurst, the age, december 5, 2009

review: the oracle
john bailey, capital idea, december 5, 2009

earthy dance rounded by artistic vision
olivia stewart, courier mail, september 24, 2010


RealTime issue #0 pg. web

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