Ballhaus Ost

Dasniya had a residency at Ballhaus Ost the last couple of months, thanks to pandemic and pandemic arts funding. I got to see a private showing last weekend, with Tara (yup, Tara!) and Yui. Yeah I’m a long-time fan of her work and Glutamat confirms it.


that’s what parsifal said…

Getting stuck in Ghent at 1am after missing the last train from Brugge, talking in the kitchen till 330am and waking at ten past ten realising rehearsal was at 11, forgetting to recharge my camera battery yesterday so having nothing to show … I shall gladly suggest reading Andrew, reading Andrew, watching Andrew.

“Well, the train station isn’t so cold, but what should we do?” says Dasniya, as we wonder no more about the possibility of a train or bus to Brussels. So we find a taxi driver who’ll take us the distance for €60, “No, this is my second job, I teach educationally difficult boys, I have two loves, my mother in Ghent, my wife in Brussels, I live in both cities, no I only sleep four or five hours a night”, turns up the techno, lights a cigarette, one hand on his iPhone making calls, the other on the wheel, “51km to Brussels”, Dasniya says, “Ah, so that will be about 20 minutes”, I say. Home in time for a cup of tea and long chat into the night.

We were in Brugge, fleeing after an early finish to rehearsals, to see ADT perform, Be Your Self, and mainly me to see Tara, Kialea and Kimball. Much excitement after the show, it’s been two and an half years since I last saw them. Perhaps a visit from one of them to Brussels?

Today I am as incoherent and silly as the narrative path above. We made it 5 minutes late and greeted by knowing smiles, we all looked like a bunch of Saturday night drunks, bags under our eyes. Lucky no ropes or suspensions, just working our the spacing for the beginning of Act II. Now it’s the same but completely different.

We are reaching the logic closure of the piece, where decisions rest upon the structure around and the set of options within diminishes. Without completely overturning what is already here, the context concerns finding workable answers. This took not much time at all, and we were left to act the goat and discuss tomorrow’s workshop.

Yesterday, missing photos and all, was a short spacing and tech-ing that unexpectedly fell into a run of the first parts of Act II. I suppose that’s what happens when you ask if you can go through the beginning. It’s getting much easier, especially as I’m in a side suspension so I can swap from arm to arm whenever one becomes too tenderised.

The anticipation is becoming tangible, a little under two weeks till premiere, and though much to do each day with little time, it is progressing, things are getting done, sorted out, set. For all of us there is the sense we are doing something special, not knowing much about opera it’s difficult to convey … but I think we each have personal reasons that transcend the obvious list of la Monnaie, Wagner, Parsifal, Hartmut, Romeo … that bring something particular, emotional, into the piece.

Tomorrow Dasniya, Gala, and I are having a Shibari workshop for various cast, crew and others from la Monnaie. Yes, it’s Monday, the day off, and tiredness is competing with nervous energy, desire for more suspensions with bruised flesh, but shall be really nice to be teaching this again. We have had not so much time to play in the last couple of weeks, though we’ve had many long discussions about what we’re doing, and we have way too many ideas for a four hour workshop.

(Shall spend the evening listening to Burzum, Solti’s Parsifal and doing as little as possible.)


Daniel stayed the night, after our witching hour last rehearsal, and it was past 3 before sleeping. Later, after I walked to the market, sore and my throat dry and hoarse, for coffee and porridge, I tailed him by almost an hour for midday yumcha.

As I walked, the sky autumn blue and faint, high haze, a jet left its evaporating contrail, four lines bulging out then sliding together like a long fine tail etched towards the eastern horizon, where after a time they became erased, in places until… nothing.

For me the sight of these ephemeral lines reminds me of Europe, where at times a stratospheric filigree crisscrossed the sky.

Daniel leaves today. First to Frankfurt, then Berlin and, for a time, Freiburg. Sometime in winter so will I. But in-between…

My beautiful wild Daniel, I love you and miss you already.

swanhilda is a punk

Daniel is having showings of the development of his new work this weekend with some of Adelaide’s most wild and beautiful dancers. Free with wine to drink after.


The progress showing of Daniel Jaber’s Swanhilda is a Punk.

Come be a part of street punk Swanhilda’s fraught escapade as she trespasses into “your” nation’s space and conflicts with those she considers most crass.

WHERE? Dancecraft & Gravity Studios, 41 Gilles St, Adelaide
WHEN? March 29 at 7:30pm and March 30 at 1pm


… and then that evening

I was genuinely about to go home for a long sleep so today I could do some work on my Residency, but Daniel insisted I come over to Tara’s and … I bend like a reed in a gentle breeze. Leaving Gala with Sudoku and crosswords I found myself amidst drunken people. Daniel had prepared shots for me. Daniel prepared more shots for me. Then a cocktail. Alison and Carlie were there, along with Tara, Sandrine, several others … more food, now only chocolate, a sheesha, more drinks, more … ham?


Sharing a plane with Leo, who is Tom’s brother who is at Art School (say it with capitals) in Melbourne, my first I think flight after so many and someone I know is sitting there, and a ride to Alison’s with Alice, a friend of Leo’s at drama school in Melbourne. Oh Adelaide.

Early into town and expecting to see some people maybe who haven’t made it to bed yet, oddly disquieting to have this void where they should be in Gouger St. But …

Daniel!!!! Hair grown long and beard also and I keep saying how moving to Adelaide was so worth it just for meeting him, but what a reunion after six weeks even. So happy to see and so happy to be here these two weeks. Something I without even thinking called home.

Then Tara, with shaved head and Sandrine, and much laughter and happiness, then Gala and Banskia and Leo and Tom and such a feeling that coming here has been a joy and to be here, now is better than any place else.

An afternoon with Gala drinking tea, enough coffee on empty stomach, also wheatgrass shots, I’m not quite sure what they do but felt slightly manic. Possibly just me, no? And now to get out of my leisure suit, away form laptop, Alison has left for a pub in Strathalburn dressed like an extra from a 1908s pop video after regaling me with much salaciousness, and on for some cocktails with Gala at a bar I’ve never been to.


1010011010 the number of the beast

Having realised I could count up to 1024, in binary no less, using just my fingers and thumbs, it’s surprising it took me so many months to make the next logical conclusion that the number of the Evil One, Prince of Darkness, Most Unclean, was well beneath that terminal integer.

Here’s my contribution to the lexicon of finger and hand signs from Tara last night while krumping in an Adelaide carpark after the showing of Ignition at ADT (that I forgot to blog about).


sandrine’s birthday

I was determined to get quite trashed last night and by 10pm, Tara was asking me if I was ready to sleep. I decided to pass out instead. I woke up and have seen everything on video. I have a remarkably steady hand when I’m loaded. Food, eating, friends I love, Adelaide in spring, Sandrine’s birthday.