Tennessee Mynott-Rudland spent her second weekend at the Big West Festival.
7412 Kilometres of Relations
Felix Ching Ching Ho & Big West Festival
28 November 2015
VU at Metro West
Felix Ching Ching Ho and Natasha Phillips both call Hong Kong home, so when an outbreak of protests, riots and political uncertainty occurred September 2014, Ho and Phillips were both compelled by their physical absence and the unfolding events of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
7412 Kilometres of Relations is both performance and protest; a juxtaposition of ideas through bodies, images and symbolism, projection, sound, personal and public address and an overarching push and pull of play vs protest, personal vs public.
Though the production could have benefitted from some generous cutting, the minimalist aesthetic was a highlight, and certain moments, such as when Ho’s a cappella in-the-dark singing was joined by projections of signing protest crowds from all around the world, were as raw and powerful as theatre can get.
La Mama Theatre and Big West Festival with project partner For the Crowded House
27 November 2015
An endearing performance about a mother-daughter relationship and the intricacies of hoarding, Birdcage Thursdays deftly examined complex issues with tragicomic sweetness.
Performed in the round at Big West’s hub venue HOUSE, the production dealt less deftly with sound bleed from the street below, with some monologues being quite difficult to decipher, and would have benefited from some more solid walls to bounce sound off.
Nevertheless, Genevieve Picot and Sophia Constantine’s performances perfectly captured the ins and outs of how obsessive-compulsive behaviours can impact the lives and relationships of family members with and without the compulsions.
The Trung Sisters (Hai Bà Trung)
Jo Trevathan and Big West Festival
27 November 2015
A two-act production combines mythic and historical story telling with a look at the legendary dragon prince Lac Long Quan and fairy goddess Au Co (the father and mother of the Lac Viet people) and real-life warrior princesses, the Trung sisters who are famous for training an army of 80,000 villagers, including 36 female generals, to lead their country to freedom in 1st Century Vietnam.
Devised over six months with Footscray North Primary kids and combining contemporary and traditional theatre practices, this open-air theatre experience boasted an original score from the Hanoi Opera, imported Vietnamese costumes, large-scale puppetry, cheeky humour and visually stunning shadow-puppetry.
It’s always nice to be blown away by the talent and intelligence of our youngest theatre makers and this production was no exception. A stunning and endearing production and definitely a highlight of the Big West Festival.
Welcome to the Salon
Big West Festival and Wynter Projects
28 November 2015
Three contemporary performance artists examine identity and the role of woman against the backdrop of three functioning hair salons. A guided walk takes us to each venue where we are met by artists Riza Manalo, Janette Hoe and Hannah Cooper-McCoy
Riza Manalo delivers an eerie performance that sheds light on beauty practices surrounding body hair and hair removal. Janette Hoe gives a stunningly beautiful butoh inspired dance responding to the blurred boundaries of work, social and personal living in Footscray’s Sexy Hair Salon. Hannah Cooper-McCoy’s head of afro curls becomes the site of exploration against the backdrop of recorded voices speaking on the importance of hair in their sense of identity.
The performances were enhanced by the unexpected and unplanned moments: Minnie the dog circling Hoe and becoming part of the dance, and passers-by crowding at the salon windows to see what the fuss was. A gorgeous set of performances that were perfect for a sunny Saturday morning.