In a unique international collaboration, China’s renowned Leshan Song and Dance Troupe and Christchurch-born choreographer Sara Brodie present an intimate and personal recount of what it is to survive and live in the wake of an unimaginable tragedy.
On a quiet spring afternoon in 2008, an earthquake measuring eight on the Richter scale devastated the Sichuan province on China, killing over 69,000 people. We saw the images of devastation, carnage and heroism splashed across the media but how does one pick up the pieces and move on?
Inspired by human reaction to disaster, Fault Lines reveals the strange, sometimes humorous and fundamental way the Sichuan Earthquake affected those remaining.
Directed by Sara Brodie and Ross McCormack and featuring the original music by Gareth Farr and Gao Ping, the Leshan Song and Dance Troupe explore the new contours of home, revealing the sorrow, confusion and occasional humour found in a familiar space rendered unrecognisable. As the dancers roam the stage, discovering what’s left they find ways of rebuilding, joining to reconstruct their shattered lives and communities.
Nearly all the dancers performing in the piece experienced the tragedy first-hand, with a number of them affected in the worst hit areas. Their personal accounts drive the heartfelt and hauntingly beautiful dance work, as it recreates the emotions of suffering, shock and disbelief that comes with the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Choreographer Sara Brodie was born in Christchurch where she trained as a dancer. After spending eight years working in Europe, she returned to New Zealand to focus on directional work in theatre, choreography and opera. With a particular interest for interdisciplinary projects, Sara has worked with video designer Andrew Brettel, Jazz musician Karen Hunter, NBRNZ Opera nad Capital E National Theatre for Children.
Founded in 1959, the Leshan Song and Dance Troupe have since developed a unique Sichuan ethnical style. Presenting their work across America, Japan, Canada, Poland and Singapore, the troupe hae won numerous national and international art awards. They are no stranger to Australia, having performed at the Sydney Opera House in 2007, in Melbourne in 2008, and participated in the Fraser Coast Multicultural Festival in 2009.
A dance of rare technical prowess, Fault Lines is a sincere elegy to those lost and a stirring tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.
Venue: The Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre
Dates: Preview Wed 10 Oct 7.30pm & Thu 11 Oct 2pm / Season Thu 11 – Sat 13 Oct 7.30pm, Sat 13 Oct 2pm
Tickets: Priced from $25 – $58
Bookings: The Malthouse 03 96855111 www.malthouse.com.au; Ticketmaster 136 100 www.melbournefestival.com.au