RITES // DYING TO DANCE

Posted by Thom Smyth, January 30th, 2014

It’s that time of year – FRINGE WORLD 2014 is here and two of our artists have exciting shows coming up – The Skeletal System’s Great White and Sally Richardson’s new work Rites.

Sally gives us the lowdown on all things fringe and why she’s dead keen on Dying To Dance.

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I love that Fringe World feeling! Perth’s Fringe is one of the best ‘newish’ fun times of the calendar. As a local artist it’s a time to get out and about, see as much of the array of evocative and exotic as you can, and  for quite a few of us to get down and dirty and make something new, raw, and maybe a little edgy.

It’s where we can play, explore and experiment with new ideas and possibilities, with a willing audience who is prepared for us to try anything and everything!

It has a rough and ready sideshow do-it-yourself energy; rehearsals are held where you can beg and borrow space, often sweating it out in various hot boxes. The set is probably borrowed, if you have one at all, flyers are flung at friends and relatives, and the social media frenzy is going off. Everyone is doing everyone a favour or two… Not only are we making, we are partaking, and the artistic frenzy flows day and night through the hottest months of the year. But oh Fringe World we are so glad you are here!

I am once again thrilled and delighted to be a part of this artistic feastfest, and in particular to be collaborating with a dedicated and committed team of artists in Laura Boynes, Kynan Hughes, Natalie Allen, Stefan and Yvan Karlsson and the inimitable Joe Lui, all amazing individuals giving of their time and bodies over these hot summer holiday months to create our new show Rites: Dying to Dance. Everyone has pitched in; writing, improvising, choreographing, feeding ideas, music, and their unstoppable energy. I am always exhilarated, excited, and terrified by the creative process, and yet with this crew its been a ball…literally!

Given the part-time nature of things, and the timeframe and resources, it’s a first-stage development, yet with the rawness and wildness of discovering and uncovering things on your feet, and in the moment. I think Fringe audiences get this and embrace it fully. And this is the exciting part, for our studio is alive, as the creative voices of our audience get to have their say right at the very beginning of this new work’s life!   And we have the opportunity to respond, shifting and changing the work each night, as we hit the ‘court” for another match…and ‘game–on’ with our audience

 rites---bball

Why Rite of Spring?

The original Rite of Spring (created for the Ballet Russes, composed by Stravinksy and choreographed by Nijinsky, premiering in 1913) has been an inspiration in many ways. Perhaps what inspired me most as I began to research this ground-breaking work (with both the score and the choreography as direct reference points), was the perceived challenge to traditional dance and music forms of that time.  It caused an almost ‘riot in the theatre’, so stunned and appalled were the Opening Night audience by what they were seeing and hearing. We might be hard pushed to repeat this particular audience response, but who knows…?

What is also interesting is how the story narrative, composition and design of the original production are inspired by the folk world of ordinary people. In a contemporary context such a popular form of inspiration might as well be sport… The theme of rites of passage, life-cycles of players, of the inevitable sacrifices, of winners, losers…its all there!

Now, as to our version? Sport and dance do have so much in common, add some object theatre (basketballs and fitballs) and a team of would-be champions…and it makes for a night of competition, drama and high stakes, with some irreverent fun to be had…all in true Fringe World style. See you courtside!

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Rites: Dying To Dance

4 – 9 Feb // 7.30pm

Chrissie Parrott Arts // 4 Sussex Street, Maylands

Preview: Tues 4 Feb // Tickets: $15

Wed 5 – Sun 9 Feb // Tickets: $20

Tickets + more info>>