Posts Tagged ‘southbank

19
Feb
18

The Blokes Project

 

The Blokes Project

Joshua Thomson and Matt Cornell

Flowstate

In association with Supercell Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane

February 13 – 18 2018

 

Reviewed by Ruth Ridgway

 

 

 

Men are meant to be something, they’re meant to be stoic, they’re meant to be independent. Some of these ideals are not actually working for us as a society.

Joshua Thomson

 

Supercell is a contemporary dance festival in Brisbane, now in its second year. It consists of multiple performances, classes/workshops and talks/discussions — mostly one-offs. I cannot claim to review the whole festival, or give an overview of it, as I saw only three performances. What I can say, though, is that I wanted to see many more, and that next year I intend to take a week off so that I can go to as many events as possible.

 

The Blokes Project was one of the few festival shows that ran for multiple performances. On its first night, a summer storm hit Brisbane. The storm wasn’t quite a supercell, but dramatic enough to echo the festival name, and provide a primal environment for co-creators and performers Joshua Thomson and Matt Cornell.

 

 

Flowstate, the new temporary creative space at South Bank, includes a performance space with a roof and no walls. The Blokes Project set was not covered by the roof, and the performance had to stop after 40 minutes instead of the scheduled 60, as rain made the conditions too hazardous for the dancers. (In the audience, we experienced only a bit of fine spray blowing in over us.) The set is a flat-roofed shed-like structure built from scaffolding and panels. (The original set, for earlier performances in other states, was a shipping container, pictured below.)

 

 

 

 

Wearing shorts, jeans, Tshirt/singlet, workboots and Akubras, the dancers began by slouching and moving through various tough ‘masculine’ poses and expressions (sometimes reminiscent of poses in a workwear catalogue). This develops into a slow, controlled duo where these movements and poses are extended into acrobatic lifts performed with a slow nonchalance. Thomson and Cornell support each other, and the movement of each depends on the weight, strength and counterbalancing of the other.

 

The dancers reproduce, amplify and extend the physical bearing, poses, expressions and gestures of working men into dance sequences involving lifting, manoeuvring on networks of ropes, climbing scaffolding, and fighting.

 

The dance sequences are interspersed with audio (including brief discussions of what lies behind male suicide and domestic violence) and video projections (by Claire Robertson) on the front of the ‘shed’, showing, for example, footage from a car driving along a dirt road in the wake of dust from a vehicle ahead, and an older man against an outback landscape and blue sky, accompanied by a monologue about talking to an older man, and expressing feelings.

 

The soundscape (by Tristen Parr) includes sounds like a small plane taxiing, and music dominated by dark strings.

 

After changing into dry clothes, Thomson and Cornell took part in a Q&A with the audience, and spoke engagingly and interestingly about their creative process and their experiences in thinking about what it means to be ‘a man’. As part of their preparation, they worked in ‘speed apprenticeships’ with men doing manual work across northern Australia, as well as drawing on their own blue-collar backgrounds. They are interested in the physical intelligence involved in manual labour — how much force is needed to do particular tasks, for instance. This is likened to the physical intelligence involved in dance — which is, perhaps, developed and discussed by its practitioners in a more conscious way.

 

The work is informal, with moments of humour. It does feel like watching two blokes at work on a project — as well as watching two highly skilled performers.

 

In between sequences, one leans on a door and appears to chat to the other inside the ‘shed’. It is an interesting exploration of ‘blokiness’ — and an examination of masculine behaviour that in everyday life is often not examined.

 

The rain added some unforeseen elements to the performance that the blokes took in their stride.

 

01
Feb
18

Flowstate

 

Flowstate – What’s Flowstate?

No, it’s not the latest facial scan digital technology used to capture actors’ features for use in films requiring the actor’s face to appear on the bodies of her doubles to achieve the illusion of a perfect triple axel performed by the actor herself…

 

 

Flowstate is a 3000sqm interim-use, creative pop-up repurposing the Arbour View Café precinct in the heart of the South Bank Parklands, designed by specialist Australian architecture and performance design firm Stukel Stone.

 

Flowstate comprises three distinct zones: a grassy relaxation zone, immersive digital art installation JEM by award-winning design studio ENESS and an open-air performance pavilion. Launched on January 29, Flowstate boasts a year-long showcase program of free artistic experiences spanning circus, dance, theatre, music and visual installation. Queensland artists and performers will deliver 20+ free artistic experiences against a panoramic tree-lined skyline, inspiring audiences to contemplate a range of ideas underpinned by a focus on city form.

 

The year-long showcase program is South Bank Corporation’s contribution to the cultural activities happening during the year of the Commonwealth Games. Precinct partners include Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Griffith University, as well as broader partners including UPLIT, Festival 2018, CIRCA and Metro Arts.

 

Participating artists and companies include CIRCA, Dead Puppet Society, Little Match Productions, Elbow Room, The Good Room, Liesel Zink, and Polytoxic. Resident local DJs bring their energy to the precinct every Friday evening. Find them on the Flowstate Green 5.30pm – 7pm.

 

“South Bank Corporation is delighted to unveil Flowstate, and to launch a year-long multi-arts program of free creative experiences marking our contribution to the cultural activities happening across the state during the year of the Commonwealth Games,” South Bank Corporation Chair Dr Catherin Bull AM said. “As a place where ideas about what the city can and will be are explored, Flowstate aims to encourage a vibrant culture of exploration and exchange across the South Bank precinct.”

 

 

The addition of the 3000sqm interim-use site offers South Bank’s 11million+ annual visitors another engaging experience to enjoy in the precinct, famous for its awe-inspiring riverside parklands, Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach, award-winning restaurants and bars and world-class accommodation options. Set against the Parklands’ stunning subtropical backdrop, Flowstate invites both locals and visitors to collaborate with some of Queensland’s most compelling artists, witness new performance work in development, engage in workshops, participate in a robust program of public conversations and engage with a groundbreaking digital installation.

 

Free event highlights include Aura by Queensland’s world-leading performance company CIRCA (06–25 March); Dead Puppet Society’s roving installation Megafauna (04–08 April); Little Match Productions’ all-ages contemporary opera The Owl and the Pussycat (11–15 April); moonlit musical trek Song to the Earth by Corrina Bonshek (16–19 May); and These Frozen Moments by the inimitable The Good Room (21 November–02 December). Complementing Flowstate’s Pavilion performances is an inspiring speaker and workshop series, with special guests throughout the year including Magda Szubanski, Luke Ryan and Margi Brown Ash, plus a weekly resident DJ set every Friday evening on the Flowstate Green.

 

Professional Queensland-based artists are also invited to apply for one of two additional supported residencies, for public work-in-progress showings at Flowstate in December 2018. Submit an online application here

 

“Via Flowstate, we hope to stimulate ideas, questions and maybe even some more answers about what contemporary cities can and should be,” Dr Bull said. South Bank Corporation CEO Bill Delves said Flowstate capsured the ever-changing nature of the South Bank precinct, continuing its 25-year legacy as a “people’s place”. “With the team’s delivery of Flowstate, we continue to sculpt Brisbane’s beloved playground into a magnificent world-leading precinct where local, interstate and international visitors eat, work and play,” Mr Delves said.

 

Find out more about Flowstate here

03
Sep
12

There’s no time to sleep! It’s September!

la soiree

FAST Festival  |  Brisbane Writer’s Festival  |  Brisbane Festival

That’s right. Spring has sprung and it’s Brisbane’s festival month.

I hope you’ve caught up on some sleep because September just went to ludicrous speed!

During Brisbane Festival’s fabulous opening weekend, I’ll be flitting between the Brisbane Writer’s Festival, La Boite & QUT Creative Industries’ FAST Festival and the Brisbane Festival events. If you want to keep up, follow XS Entertainment on Twitter and Instagram (whilst at ludicrous speed, there will be no #photoaday for me this month!).

Brisbane Festival unveils huge opening weekend line-up

Brisbane Festival (8-29 September) begins this weekend, its biggest, longest celebration.

On Saturday 8 September, free entertainment will start from 4.30pm in the Queen Street Mall and Reddacliff Place with two live music stages, then crossing over to South Bank, at 5pm an Indigenous ceremony will fill the banks of the river with music and atmosphere.

Spectators should then stake out a good viewing spot for the first showing of the new Santos GLNG City of Lights presented by Events Queensland at 7pm – a choreographed music and light spectacular with water features shooting 60m metres in the air from 30 metre towering structures on the river, and lights and lasers from barges and rooftops.

Santos GLNG Lounge at South Bank Cultural Forecourt will be buzzing with atmosphere, food and beverage outlets and unique installations, including the multicultural, multi-coloured Brisbane Airport International Lantern Garden and a giant disco ball between the QPAC towers.

Festival goers can stay in the Lounge for further showing of Santos GLNG City of Lights at 8pm and 9pm, or take in some of Brisbane Festival’s fantastic opening night shows.

In The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent, international cabaret sensation La Soirée will amaze, amuse, appal and arouse audiences with burlesque-circus-cabaret shows at 7.15 and 9.30pm, while DJs will take to the stage from 11pm to keep Brisbane partying into the night.

Featuring the stars of the Olivier Award-winning La Clique, La Soirée has brought the house down everywhere from New York to Paris and London to Montreal, selling out every night.

At QPAC, the world premiere of S by internationally acclaimed contemporary circus company Circa will show at 8pm.

In 2010, the Brisbane-based ensemble premiered the global phenomenon Wunderkammer at Brisbane Festival and went on to tour Berlin, London, New York, Paris and Montreal to unanimous rave reviews. This year, S promises to raise the bar even further for the world of contemporary circus.

For those seeking an alternative experience, Brisbane Festival’s program for independent artists will also get started on Saturday 8 September with a cutting edge music night courtesy of Lofly Records and curators Happy Endings outside Metro Arts on Edward Street.

At South Bank Cultural Forecourt, Anything Is Valid Dance Theatre will perform Life In Miniature, a contemporary dance work set in a 1970s caravan driven to Brisbane from Perth, while another reality of Brisbane will be presented at Still Night, an imaginative lecture with a twist by talented artists from the UK and Italy.

In other corners of the city, at the Judith Wright Centre Dancenorth will perform their work Mass, which is inspired by natural disasters in Queensland, and at the Brisbane Powerhouse a ‘Literary Love-In’ will wrap wordsmiths and bookworms in its embrace.

After a huge opening night, Brisbane Festival goers can chill out with a Sunday program featuring daytime jazz and an evening performance by Indigenous icon Archie Roach at The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent, and a matinee featuring the world famous Vienna Boys Choir at QPAC.

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Noel Staunton said his ambition was to make Brisbane to stay up past its bedtime throughout September.

“This year South Bank will transform into the beating heart of Brisbane Festival with stunning light installations and endless opportunities for families to come early, grown-ups to stay late, and for audiences to see multiple events within one precinct. Don’t miss out,” Mr Staunton said.

Brisbane Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council and runs from 8 to 29 September 2012.

For more information visit www.brisbanefestival.com.au

Tender Napalm