• Choy Ka Fai's 'Unbearable Darkness'. Photo: Katja Illner.
    Choy Ka Fai's 'Unbearable Darkness'. Photo: Katja Illner.

The 2019 Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art returns to Sydney's Carriageworks this October. A creative platform celebrating artists who push boundaries, this year’s Liveworks program includes four dance works, three of which are by local choreographers.

From Vicki Van Hout comes plenty serious TALK TALK. When you’re an artist from the world’s oldest living culture, expectations crowd your work. With gleeful humour and sharp observation, plenty serious TALK TALK puts front-and-centre the parts of Indigenous art-making that usually remain behind the scenes. Weaving threads of stand-up, visual art and new media into dance theatre, this new solo performance by Van Hout lays bare the complexities of negotiating culture across disciplines, genres and eras.

Melbourne-based Wiradjuri man Joel Bray will present his latest work Daddy. From the sugar-coated idyll of childhood reminiscence to the glazed excesses of queer adulthood, Bray’s story proves that a sweet tooth is a dangerous thing. An exploration of his insatiable cravings for father figures and the imperial all-consuming hunger for Aboriginal Australia, Daddy probes one of the paradoxes of our age: when so much is on offer, why are we left so hungry?

Double Double sees dance artists Jo Lloyd and Deanne Butterworth joined by interdisciplinary artists Evelyn Ida Morris and Tina Havelock Stevens—each on drums—in a meeting of four performers where spontaneous compositions and formations emerge out of a physical and sonic mania. Motion and noise slap against each other as tension escalates, making for a sensory experience.

The fourth work is by Berlin-based Singaporean artist Choy Ka Fai. Entitled Unbearable Darkness, the work sees audiences witness an uncanny cybernetic dance experiment conjuring Butoh master Tatsumi Hijikata from beyond the grave using a spirit medium, live dance, motion capture and a lively digital avatar. Choy Ka Fai explores the legacy of the expressive and historic dance form Butoh, questioning its appropriation in Western culture while searching for a new choreographic language for the Asian body in this Australian premiere. Choy Ka Fai will also deliver the key note lecture, “How does a ghost choreograph?”

Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2019 takes place at Carriageworks, October 17-27. Head to https://performancespace.com.au/ for more info.

Pictured top: Choy Ka Fai's 'Unbearable Darkness'. Photo: Katja Illner.

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