Dance Meets Art in Adelaide

‘Seeing Through Darkness’ directed by Michelle Ryan. Photo by Shane Reid.

Restless Dance Theatre’s Premiere at Art Gallery South Australia

Seeing Through Darkness | Sept 4 – Oct 3

‘One is never finished seeing and watching, our eyes are the door of the spirit and the light of the mind.’  Georges Rouault

Georges Rouault, France, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet
he opened not his mouth”, plate 21 from Miserere et Guerre, 1923 (published 1948), printed by Jacquemin, Paris; published by Èdition de l’Ètoile Filante, Paris, aquatint, roulette, drypoint over heliogravure on paper; Private donations and South Australian Government Grant 1958, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Restless Dance Theatre, Australia’s leading dance company working with artists with and without disability will perform Seeing Through Darkness at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) for an exclusive season from Friday 4 September until Friday 2 October.

Sadly, this will probably be one of the last performances by Restless Dance Theatre as they were unsuccessful in gaining funding from the Australia Council for the Arts for 2021.

Directed by Michelle Ryan, Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre, Seeing Through Darkness is a physical response to the works of expressionist artist Georges Rouault. The Company’s six dancers will perform in the Gallery alongside the artworks of George Rouault, with the artist’s influential monochromatic portrayals of humanity brought to life through lighting, shadow and movement.

Ryan says, ‘The imperfect form of the human body and the troubled soul of the works of Rouault resonate with how people with disability can feel and be perceived. Some may be confronted while others may see beauty in difference.’

‘There are many facets that create the human experience. Some are vibrant flashes of joy and achievement while others are the lingering remains of pain and loss. But ultimately, what do we leave behind?’

‘The elegance and beauty of the Art Gallery of South Australia, combined with an original score, innovative lighting and a diverse company of dancers, creates a space to bring these works to life through dance.’

The Company dancers are: Kathryn Adams, Chris Dyke, Jianna Georgiou, Michael Hodyl, Alexis Luke and Michael Noble.

The performance is supported by the dramatic use of light and bold shadow work. The result sees light arc around the performers, mimicking the way the sun tracks and allowing the performance and space to be painted by light. The performance space is designed by Geoff Cobham and Meg Wilson, with music by Hilary Kleinig and Emily Tulloch.

Georges Rouault, France, Auguries, plate 41 from Miserere et Guerre, published 1948, printed by Jacquemin, Paris; published by Èdition de l’Ètoile Filante, Paris, aquatint, roulette, drypoint over heliogravure on paper; Private donations and South Australian Government Grant 1958, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Director Rhana Devenport ONZM says, ‘AGSA is thrilled to collaborate with this distinctive Australian dance company to shed new light on the powerful works of Georges Rouault. Restless Dance Theatre’s ability to communicate through performance is unique and we’re delighted to offer our visitors this immersive visual art experience.’

Since its inception, Restless Dance Theatre has mounted over 30 major productions and many major community workshop programs. Led by Artistic Director Michelle Ryan, one of Australia’s leading dance artists, the Company creates high quality real, raw and uninhibited dance theatre. It is Australia’s leading dance theatre company working with young people with and without disability to collaboratively create outstanding inclusive dance theatre informed by disability. The company presents unexpectedly real dance theatre works in multiple mediums to diverse audiences. The dancers create original and remarkable work that extends the definition of what dance is.

Audiences are encouraged to book to avoid disappointment.

 

RESTLESS DANCE THEATRE – Seeing Through Darkness

September 4 – October 3, various times
Art Gallery South Australia
Bookings: www.agsa.sa.gov.au

Photo Shane Reid
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