October 19 – 21
MERRIGONGX presents the return of uNCOILED eXposed by AUSTI. Dance and Physical Theatre, at the IPAC 19 – 21 October. This season premieres 3 experimental dance pieces by emerging choreographers; Bonnie Curtis, Buddy Malbasias and AUSTI. alumni Jessica Hewett. Pieces were created as part of an Illawarra-based dance residency program, the first of its kind.
How can we know? (working title) by Jessica Hewett explores power and the abuse of power, referencing the “Stanford Prison Experiment.” Hewett has challenged herself with a complex piece exploring psychological themes that are relevant to current global issues, including war and police brutality.
Hewett is the first AUSTI alumni to be selected for the uNCOILEd eXposed residency. She was the first AUSTI apprentice company member, a role that provides talented dancers with professional training and performance opportunities while completing high school. Hewett danced with the company for 6 years:
“Since my last two performance seasons with AUSTI. were cut short due to COVID I never felt like my AUSTI journey was complete. It’s such a privilege to return to the company in a new creative capacity and hopefully inspire company members and audiences alike.”
Soft Mirrorby Bonnie Curtis combines satire, dark comedy, surrealism and pop culture to challenge stereotypes, social norms and expectations of gender and beauty. The audience journeys reminiscent of a zoo, freak show or a reality TV show featuring the trope hysterical woman.
Curtis’s choreographic language draws on the juxtaposition of the “body beautiful” and “body grotesque” evident in western dance practices and pop culture. Her vocabulary movement has been refined through a prestigious ATLAS Residency at ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival and her growing body of work. During Curtis’s uNCOILEd eXposed Residency, she supported the AUSTI dancers beyond their comfort zone, to create their own unique beautifully grotesque, beastly creatures, who will come to life on stage.
Lato2x by Buddy Malbasias draws inspiration from traditional Filipino game “lato-lato” to embody the emotional turbulence of cultural reconnection and identity within the immigrant experience. Lato2x arises from Malbasias’s own experiences and nuanced perspectives as a second-generation Asian Australian and extends on the foundation of his award-winning film, Anino.
Malbasias aims not only to engage audiences but challenge perceptions and provoke audiences to explore the complexity of their own identities and cultural connections through a contemporary collision of metaphor, tradition, dynamic energy and wit.
All 3 works are testament to the power of art to ignite meaningful conversations and foster a deeper understanding of the complexities that shape our modern global society:
“This year’s program is an eclectic mix of raw experimental work that has pushed our dancers out of their comfort zone. It’s been an absolute privilege to share the studio with these exceptionally talented individuals, including one of our own.” said AUSTI. Artistic Director, Michelle Maxwell.
uNCOILEd is an annual project established in 2012 as a tribute to AUSTI. company directors’ former student Nicole Fitzsimons. She was an avid supporter and friend of the company, who tragically passed away. What started as a platform for company members to develop their choreographic skills and present their own work has developed into uNCOILEd eXposed: the Illawarra’s first-ever curated, outcome-based, contemporary dance residency supported by MERRIGONGX. The revitalised platform offers emerging artists with a strong connection to AUSTI. and the Illawarra the chance to create and premiere bold and thought-provoking art.
MERRIGONGX is the independent artist side of Merrigong Theatre Company. From in-house creative developments to full-blown public presentations of new work, and everything in between.
MERRIGONGX provides independent artists with financial, technical, marketing and artistic resources. For independent artists, this kind of support from venues, companies and sponsors is invaluable in bringing a new production to life.
MERRIGONGX productions are built on a Pay What You Feel basis, that puts the power to support the artists in the hands of the audience.