IGNITE! 2016, based on the theme of Form, Identity and Dissent, is running. Anyone who has organized a festival of this dimension can vouch for how physically and mentally taxing this could be for the organizers! This week is a high-strung one at Oddbird Theater for the Gati Dance Forum team.
A battle is on between the vibes of the constant preparation, the fatigue that comes with it, and the cheerfulness which is inherent to the team.
So some of them decide to take a breath of fresh air on this morning and visit their spiritual and professional home @Gati…
…to vent it all out thorough spending a bit of time for themselves while also waiting for today’s first program–Vinaykumar‘s master class,…
Some questions came up at the opening performances at IGNITE! on October 9, and then traversed and lingered during the program last night at the same venue, OddBird. Questions around collaborative creations—of course, but also around gender, race and appropriation of social issues, or even an appropriation of the concept of resistance.
Last night’s program comprised of a film screening and two short performances. During this screening of Director/Choreographer Stephen Page’s debut feature film SPEAR, some of those same questions came up, carrying some interesting and some troubling connotations.
The film was Page’s effort (2015) to bring Bangarra Dance Theatre’s work under the same name, to the film medium. The narrative revolved around a man named Djali—played by Hunter Page-Lochard. This young man stood on the streets of Sydney and visualized himself as going back to his aboriginal roots, while trying to understand what his real existence in his urban, modern world meant. He saw his own reflection in other lost and restless aboriginal souls—torn between their urban existences (upside down realities, smeared with white dust, wings chopped off) and their irresistible roots to the wilderness, which they continuously, secretly desired for.
It is one thing to see a performance as a product and it is another thing to wait for it, to scratch through the process as the insider and the outsider. And the matter of being in and out is one of the most interesting factors when it comes to #INTERSECT this year at IGNITE!—not just for the performers themselves, but also for the whole Gati team and of course, the audience.
The inside-outside debate is there in every collaborative creative work—how much of it is mine, how much of it is yours, how do two artists approach the much anticipated crossroad? Like just a passerby, without really paying much attention to the other, or like finding a friend—sharing a snack and a tea, or like a competitor or even a bully, claiming the road and pushing the other one off to the pavement—outside?