Unpopular Culture

Next Wave Festival 2004 opens in Melbourne tomorrow (with a big party at Federation Square) until the end of May, and John Dutton who is my genius lighting designer (and hard-drinking rock-pig) has lit about half of Melbourne for it, including Quiet Listening Exercises choreographed by Phoebe Robinson, who also swings a leg for me.

Quiet Listening Exercises is a modern portrayal, through live dance performance and sound installation, of iimaginary scenarios inspired by fairytales. The sound, composed by Felicity Mangan, is drawn from a children’s record of Snow White with musical accompaniment. Mangan’s sounds are sampled, manipulated and re-sequenced. The audience listen through headphones, separating the dancers from the sound and providing the audience with an isolated and immersive experience. While dancers Julia Robinson and Phoebe Robinson perform in silence, the simple narratives of fairytales are blurred together and scenes unfold in a dreamy sequence of virtue, violence and jealousy.

There is so much good stuff to see at the festival, which is pretty much a showcase for bright young things who are going to number one in the next few years. Fly to Melbourne (it’s not as livable as it thinks it is, but the coffee is ok) and see some art.