Akram Khan

Until the Lions
In this partial adaptation of poet Karthika Naïr’s book Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, an original reworking of the epic Mahabharata, Khan uses kathak and contemporary dance to tell the tale of Amba, a princess abducted on her wedding day and stripped of her honour, who invokes the gods to seek revenge. In an epic theatrical piece, Khan explores the notion and the physical expression of gender, bringing together some of the stellar artistic team behind his solo DESH: writer Karthika Naïr, visual artist Tim Yip, lighting designer Michael Hulls and dramaturg Ruth Little.

SHARON EYAL & GAI BEHAR

CARTE BLANCHE – CORPS DE WALK
Corps de Walk combines shapes and emotions in a unique, almost extraterrestrial “walk” by androgynous creatures. It makes a number of references to Killer Pig, Sharon Eyal’s first choreography for Carte Blanche, created in 2009. In Killer Pig, a piece for female dancers, Sharon Eyal plays with multiple incarnations of sensuality with a minimalist style and intense physical expression. She pursues that approach in Corps de Walk, but this time will all the company dancers involved. As with the previous piece, the costumes suggest androgynous nudity. She has collaborated with the Israeli musician DJ Ori Lichtik for many years, and once again here his music underpins her potent choreographic language, whose rhythm constantly evokes a beating heart.

Eve Bailey

Rising Awareness
Could one succeed in rising the level of awareness by sharpening one’s perception rather than repeating the vapid catchphrase, “raising awareness,” which has been coopted by an ever-growing money-raising industry that fails to improve our circumstances in a substantive way? Wearing a cocktail dress, I assembled a large kinetic structure made of wooden beams and ladders in front of the audience. I then walked and balanced on the twenty-foot wide structure at eight feet off the floor. Rising Awareness addresses my ongoing preoccupations about the physicality of experience, inhabiting the body, proprioception as the possible strongest sense of self, how spatial awareness correlates with overall awareness and self-awareness, how physicality enhances creativity, finding balance between gravity and groundlessness, a concept of happiness as the fullest expression of one’s particular cognitive potential, pushing boundaries, and the current irreverent politics of liability.

Lilla LoCurto & Bill Outcault

The willful marionette
the willful marionette (2014) was created by artists Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault during a residency with the University of North Carolina Charlotte, working with the College of Computing and Informatics as well as the College of Art and Architecture. The marionette is 3d printed from the scanned image of a human figure and responds engagingly in real time to spontaneous human gestures by reading a viewer’s movements and expressions. Its strings are manipulated by motors and software and there are two depth sensors that read and analyze the behaviors and gestures of participants. The puppet’s subsequent actions are designed to elicit further responses, creating an exchange focusing on the frailty and insecurities of the human participant and raising issues of contemporary relevance. The intention of the project was not to create so much a perfectly functioning robot but rather to imbue an obviously mechanically actuated marionette with the ability to solicit a physical and emotional dialog with a viewer.

ANGELIKA LODERER

Angelika Loderers work is refering to the basic research of form and space. She uses fragile, everyday materials that are derived from the vocabulary of domesticity and combine them with sort of traditional sculptural techniques. In the process the play between chance and control defines the aesthetics of her work. The experimenting with attidudes – via a very specific amalgam of materials, shapes and objects- brings forth a new, metaphysical result. “In transience, fragility and decline, I see the formal expressions to which I refer in my designs, and which to some extent provide the framework conditions for my processoriented work. From the abundance on offer, however fragile and vulnerable in composition, the elements fall into place, becoming worthless once again when dismantled.”

Nirma Madhoo

Future Body

A stiff cyborg, fixed with a glazed and expressionless stare, dips her fingers into an alien-like amniotic fluid. Gravity shifts as droplets reverse upwards, forming a pulsing headpiece that encases her smooth, almost porcelain skull. ‘Future Body’, a new film by Nirma Madhoo, uses CGI and animated 3D modelling to explore technological embodiment, enacting it in a character that transgresses expected gender roles in a newly mechanised system of digital-infused aesthetics.
Set in the clinical, segmented interiors of a simulated hyper-real space, Madhoo’s cyborg is found dressed for battle, in pieces forming exoskeletons, a spinal scorpion’s tail and mantis-like shoes, designed by Iris van Herpen. A collision between her human and technological self is physicalised as she undergoes mitosis, splitting into two and performing a combative dance with her duplicate.
Currently showing in Melbourne in an exhibition titled ‘Fashion Performance: Materiality, Meaning, Media’, alongside work from Hussein Chalayan, BOUDICCA and POSTmatter collaborator Bart Hess, it offers a glimpse into the collapse of gender, species and machine into one another, in turn reimagining the future for fashion design and communication.