enough from daniel

Something to celebrate because I lost all track of time. Adelaide’s Fringe Festival is over, which I’ve only ever experience for a couple of days in 2008. Beautiful Daniel had his first solo there this year, bits of which he played with while in Berlin, nearly a year ago, and 8 months since he properly left, three since I last saw him.

Too Far Again, Not Far Enough… won two awards, the Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE:development Award, and Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Dance. Poo I wasn’t there to get hideously trashed on Absinthe at our favourite La Boheme. O-well. Congratulations Daniel, you deserve it.

too far again, not far enough…

Daniel is performing in the Adelaide Fringe this year. I think it will be rather good. Some photos to enjoy also…

Too far again, not far enough…
New dance performance in development by Daniel Jaber.
Adelaide Fringe Festival 2010.

March 6, 7 and 13, 14
Tickets $10 from FringeTIX 1300FRINGE | 1300 374 642 | Or at the door. Limited Seating!

Venue: Gravity Studios | 41 Gilles St, Adelaide | 8:30pm.
Contains Nudity. 18+. regrettably no wheelchair access. Duration: 50 min.

Concept | Choreography | Costume Performance: Daniel Jaber (AU)
Original Sound: Thomas Jeker (BE)
Original Animation | Graphic Design: Matthias Waldt (DE)

TO DOWNLOAD THE POSTER CLICK HERE: too far again not far enough.pdf


Falling asleep while passing time in a nearby bookstore while waiting for Michael to arrive in the distant north of Carlton, then providing him with considerably poor directions, “Are you near the Courthouse Theatre”, “No, that’s on the other side of the street” as I stood beneath a large sign announcing “Courthouse Theatre”, I was quite worried that lacking chocolate I wouldn’t make it through the show without a long sleep, probably at some crucial instance in the proceedings. Bonnie and Ruby ran up breathless, running from Swanston St, Mike and I already were finished our first drinks of what would end up to be a night of many bottles, and so to one of the stranger European blow-throughs of the past few months.

Bringing a baby to the theatre is an often an act of misplaced hope, but unlike economy class, they usually depart before enduring too many withering scowls. Not so at B-File where the unhappy mewling has already begun once the martial anthems die, and continues growing and fading for most of the performance. An anxiety-inducing noise in any circumstances, here carefully planned to make us all unsettled as the intentional soundtrack to airport customs nightmares.

B-File cites September 11 as a somewhat starting point for the loss of liberty and citizenship, though the work is far more interesting when not considered as a metaphor for what has become the banal sabotage of human rights by western governments. It could be a metaphor or social commentary on Abu Ghraib and Lindy England’s Iraqi dog-on-a-leash, or the CIA’s extraordinary rendition, all small fragments in the detritus of a policy of dehumanisation. It’s far more interesting devoid of these comparisons that are never mentioned anyway in the performance, and seen as the desperate comedy of anonymous totalitarianism in the lineage of Slaughterhouse Five, Animal Farm, and Catch-22.

B-File exists on the z-axis of a Cartesian coordinate system. It moves back and forward through the depth of the stage, and assigns enormous weight of meaning to particular, vague regions. Farthest from us is the location of waiting, wherein a lack of identity within the state they wish to enter banishes the travellers to limbo and in a small area, little larger than what a body can occupy, their impedimenta creates a temporary installation of proof of existence. It is a haven the size of a chair. It is also the negative region of the axis; they do not exist. To cross the axis into the positive space of the state, and so accrue status as a citizen or legal visitor they must win favour of customs officer Phlegyas to pass the Styx. Unfortunately Phlegyas is insane and shifts the axis always slightly further away, always conditional on evermore impossible, unreasonable, hysterical demands, degenerating into loud, obscene, sexually vulgar remarks, evolution unwinding into snorting, squealing piggish barbarity.

One officer Paulo Dos Santos says, “Adelaide has no contemporary dance only stripping and …” (makes fucking gesture). “You know Nuureyv?” “… no …” “You know Peena Bousch?” “… no …” “You know jzhonky moov?” “… no …”. Not warmed up to do the splits, Silvia Pinto Coelho is forced by Paulo Castro (“This guy with Rammstein tattoo, when I make he spilt, he could touch”, holds finger and thumb to illustrate cock brushing floor) to dance, doing an inspired Trisha Brown combination, bad New York post-modern dance at its finest, and the mid-stages of another humiliating interrogation, where her dignity remains despite demands to know what she thinks when she fucks.

Again an interrogation, this time Madeleine Lawrence sexually assaulted and groped by Jo Stone and, “Your passport says you are Greek, why don’t you understand what I am saying?” “You are from Austraiiya, name four animals. Not Kangaroo, Crocodile …” More unnecessary probes into lovers, sex and intimacy by officers employed for their fondness of bestiality over their respect for the law and human rights. And even they do not trust each other, a glaring absence of self-esteem erupts through violent demands to see each other’s identification, and one upmanship, “I am marrying the boss in a few months”, “My grandfather served in the force”, a grotesque possibility here that when institutions make abuse of power a policy, only the sadists remain.

This is a hard, physical performance, extremely well rehearsed and bearing the mark of an acute critical eye. There is barely a movement out of place, and certainly none not thought about, and the physical and vocal dexterity of the performers serves to inhabit the space of a nightmarish, frighteningly insane enough to be true horror world. The language flies between German, the undeclared default, that slips back and forth with English, then Portuguese, Italian, Greek, the languages of the International Community.

There was one sticking point for me, and one other moment of dissatisfaction. The entry of Jo, the second Police Officer midway through, after the intense performances of the two Paulos did not slide quite smoothly for me. This was the introduction of a new and different dynamic, the superior to Paulo, and an uneasy transfer of authority. It’s a really minor thing in what is a beautifully executed and extremely well directed performance, but for a moment, I didn’t quite believe. A part of this which is my own prejudice is that I find Australian theatre accents a bit unbelievable. In Grace, the final spat ‘t’ puncturing an accumulation of letters like a sharp nail is not something you tend to hear in vernacular, the precise enunciation overlaying what is a fairly sloppy spoken dialect for me often splits the identity of the performer into character and actor.

The moment of dissatisfaction came perhaps an hour in, when the lights under a wall of sound blacked out. I thought, “Is this the end? No, not yet, oh crap, I really hope this isn’t it because it’s too short, it needs to go on, omg! (yeah I talk to myself in chat-speek) it’s so not ready to finish”. I spent a good deal of B-File thinking “genius genius genius” and “can’t you think of another word?” and when it ended so soon, I was in torment.

As an aside, I was really saddened at the complete lack of awareness in the contemporary dance scene here of this show, after-all, this is a town that got uptight about Jan Fabre, and looks to companies like Ballets C de la B, Sasha Waltz, the whole Brussels and Berlin tanztheater scene as something near the pinnacle of contemporary dance. Yet members of the B-File ensemble have worked with all these and other companies, and for us at the end of the world here with scant chance to see firsthand this era of performance, it’s a rare gem that was stupidly missed through pathetic lack of advertising.

It would have been agony to have seen a performance I thought was not so good, and then this morning have to stick the knife into its back, especially because the remainder of the night involved a number of bottles of champagne, our little gang of audience and half the cast. But despite my unabashed love of eurotrash, and to hear these languages spoken so I feel homesick, this is a profoundly strong performance, swiftly traversing physical and verbal humour, moments of embarrassing cringing, and not occasionally cold threatening anxiety, often all vertiginously at once. B-File unfolds a horrible moment of powerlessness in which people aren’t simply humiliated, abused, tormented, all without reason and then to walk away; once on the wrong side of the axis you are no longer human, there is never any leaving, no future, no possibility of hope.

b file at la mama

Another afternoon chat with Bonnie, this time while slurping orange juice and eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches on fresh, soft vienna bread. So while hell and other nasty pieces of my repertoire are going to be screened sometime soon in Berlin, Bonnie was rather enthusiastic about B File, fresh from the Adelaide Fringe and on at La Mama this and next week. And it’s in an airport! My favourite place.

Paulo Castro and Jo Stone are responsible, who are off to Dance North soon, and who have been hanging out with the usual contemporary dance and theatre enfants terrible in Europe. I won’t get to see it until next week though, but you can see it now.

La Mama presents


@ the Carlton Courthouse
– 349 Drummond St. Carlton
Tue April 3 – Sat April 14
Wed/Sun @ 6.30pm
Thu/Fri/Sat @ 8pm
Tickets: $20 full / $10 conc. Phone: 03 9347 6142

Directed by Portuguese director Paulo Castro, B-FILE is loosely based on a text by English writer Deborah Levy.
Co-written and interpreted by Jo Stone, Paolo dos Santos, Karen Lawrence, Paulo Castro, Silvia Pinto Coehlo and Madeline Lawrence.
B-File has toured Germany, Portugal and Spain and Adelaide since 2004. (nominated recently for an Adelaide Fringe Award 07)

The action is unveiled in a claustrophobic room somewhere in an airport.
A group of passengers are sub-merged into a rigorous, absurd and violent interrogation with the police force.
The police begin to abuse their authority as people arrive from different countries.
Marked with menacing questions and satire, the game becomes more dangerous as the narrative structure unfolds.
The B-file undresses the theme of power and collective paranoia over seccurity which since Sept 11th has increased in dimension and is now a big theme in contemporary society.
It is grand reflection on the abuse of control.

— b file – la mama

sarah’s party & shelf life

It actually opened last night so a very belated toitoitoi!!! to dancers Sarah, Jay, Alison, Sascha and to choreographers Gala and Becky, and everyone else I’ve forgotten. I saw Shelf Life in rehearsal in January, and as I’ve come to expect from Gala it was deeply strange and loaded with exceedingly black humour. She has a sharp eye for acerbic wit and manages the often treacherous land between dance and acting with skill. Even so early in rehearsals she had come up with a strong and coherent series of vignettes that the dancers obviously enjoyed performing; I’m sad to not be there to see what it became.

Bare Bones are one of the most interesting groups I know of in Adelaide from my time there, I think they embody whatever it is about that city that causes an almost ceaseless flow of people making art and performance, they were over in Melbourne recently, but like most visiting artists no one hears anything, it’s all very quiet… If you’re in Adelaide, go and see Bare Bones.

Sarah’s Party (Tragic Mole)

Bare Bones

Set to the re-mixed sounds of INXS, this light-hearted, fast-paced dance theatre work explores those awkward, often retrospectively amusing, but sometimes isolating and even scarring social forays, that play a relentless role in shaping our emergence from youth to competent, functional adults. Come join the party… Choreographer (Sarah’s Party) – Rebecca Hilton

Shelf Life

Gala Moody

Based on “The far side” books, it gets under the skin of domesticity, the characters perform on and around a kitchen table, in Bold and the Beautiful meets Mother and Son style drama. Shelf life is a piece about suburban disjoint and forgotten lives, a family, like old preserves in a cupboard, slowly going stale. Choreographer (Shelf Life) – Gala Moody

— bare bones dance collective

soft sculpt adelaide

It’s Adelaide Fringe time, so Gypsy Wood is sitting in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, and every dancer in town is performing this week, and not a few of musicians. That includes Michael Carter, Deon Hastie, and Gala Moody, who will be the subject of another blog post in a couple of minutes.

soft sculpt
Presented Bypazzia contemporary performing collective

3 unique shows: see them all! for further information go to

tickets available from fringetix or online by clicking here

announcing our hot performer listing:

gala moody, leigh warren dancers
deon hastie, leigh warren dancers
krinkl theatre, puppetry and object animation (nsw)
meghann jones, jamfactory resident artisan
michael carter, australian ballet
miranda hill, melbourne symphony orchestra (vic)
damien ralphs, kurruru indigenous youth performing arts

janet anderson, adelaide symphony orchestra
sarah mccarthy, adelaide symphony orchestra
heather lloyd, adelaide symphony orchestra
gemma phillips, adelaide symphony orchestra

kelly lovelady, artistic director (montreal)
stephanie kabanyana, director of operations
vanessa vance, director of finance and administration (wa)

— pazzia contemporary performing collective

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