S.J Norman: The River’s Children, & Take this, for it is my body. In Melbourne Festival at Dancehouse

S.J Norman. This weekend. In Dancehouse at Melbourne Festival. That’s enough links. No excuses. Get your arse there.

S.J, or Satan-Jam, my meeting of whom last year I’ve described in eloquent, sweary detail (it’s all true, I swear! It’s why I blog, external memory storage an’ all), is in Melbourne. Right now! How privileged are you, Melbz? Get over your smug selves and get to Dancehouse this weekend, or Friday if you’re down with premières, before 17h — that’s 5pm to youse — for 2 hours of harrowment.

To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s 17h for the installation and 19h for the performance, and if both works are on each day, or … mainly because Dancehouse and Melb Fest websites are making my brain bleed. Probably best to camp out on Princes St from Thursday, just to be safe.

S.J Norman. Brilliant work, brilliant-er person, two works: The River’s Children and Take This, For It Is My Body. Go on, go and read about them.

In all non-hyperbolic seriousness, I can’t speak highly enough of them. For the past year — when they’ve been in Berlin — I’ve had crucial, on-going discussions with them around identity, selfhood, making performance, representation (as well as epic slamming of telly series), racism, colonialism, diaspora (geographical and within one’s own body), Australia in all its ambivalence; also “What’s the best music for Mad Gainz, Frances?” “That’d be ’80s speed and death metal, crossover and thrash.” type conversations about training and physicality. Really some of the best convos I’ve had in years. (They also stepped up and were on the sharp pointy rivet of the Marina Abramovic racism a couple of months ago.)

So, as if it’s not obvious enough, Frances “Hostile To Everything” d’Ath (seriously, that’s what another awesome Australian said about me, “… in a good way though …”) is a huge fan of S.J. Go see them, say hi from me.

I left my shoes on warm concrete and stood in the rain

Witch/Red was for me easily one of the best pieces of performance, theatre, dance I saw in all my time living in Australia. I should qualify that also by saying one of the best of any local or international performances. I think it was her first collaboration with Luke Smiles, who I think is the singular most talented composer for performance in Australia (and I still remember his beautifully strange installation with tape reels and other digital, mechanical devices in the basement of RMIT (or somewhere central Melbourne)).

Gabrielle is performing her new work in Melbourne in a couple of weeks. For those of you in the antipodes… well, I have no idea what she is doing in this piece, but Gab is one person whom I’d always want to see what has emerged.

I left my shoes on warm concrete and stood in the rain

Dancehouse’s Housemate Residency Program presents the extraordinary new work of Gabrielle Nankivell.

I left my shoes on warm concrete and stood in the rain is a performance that examines struggle as an inherent quality of being human. The audience is invited to experience intense physicality and haunting words framed by Benjamin’s Cisterne’s (Bluebottle) design and a striking soundtrack by Luke Smiles / motion laboratories.

Harnessing the imagination as a physical force, I left my shoes on warm concrete and stood in the rain is a visual poem for anyone who has taken the enchanting qualities of their broken world and built a fairytale as inspiration to survive.

Text, Physical Content & Performance – Gabrielle Nankivell
Original Soundtrack – Luke Smiles / motion laboratories
Design – Bluebottle Benjamin Cisterne
50 minutes no interval.

July 8-11 @ 8pm, July 12 @ 5pm

For more information email info@dancehouse.com.au