REVIEW | Silence

SILENCE – Sydney Opera House – credit Joseph Mayers


A MUST See and A Gift to be Immersed in if you are Given the Chance

Reviewed by Karina Lawrence

Overlooking the city lights framed by the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and heading into the stunning Opera House was where this magic adventure began.

It’s always a nostalgic place to be, when seeing any creative arts and entering into the intimate space of The Studio held the same anticipation of excitement. The space was intriguing from the moment you arrived, with the lighting already creating an atmospheric essence.

Now to be honest, I wasn’t too sure of what I was in stall for with this possibly controversial storyline. Yet Silence certainly bought much volume into the heart and soul, with such an impactive and inspirational powerful conversation clearly needed.

It raised the roof and raised the awareness and in turn voices by continuing to create those much needed ongoing conversations with the new and upcoming generations.

Produced by Black Dance and Created by Karul Projects, this raw physical theatre brings together contemporary dance, humours skits, live drumming and raw aesthetics to create some truly significant moments in Australian History.

It makes you truly question the version we briefly acknowledge and are fed in our educational systems.

Combined with intimate storytelling and Choreography by Thomas E.S.Kelly, Minjungbal-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri and Ni-Vanuatu who also performs in the show and is the Writer behind Silence, executes those extraordinary and significant moments in Australian history with such impact.

It’s engaging and joyful all while reminding us of some hard yet needed truths or at least awareness that sadly has been and continues, to be silenced.

With live music throughout and the haunting and engaging beating of live drums by musician, percussion composer and performer Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie, Mirning and Wuthathi, who’s talent and charismatic energy is both captivating and haunting in the best possible way. To hear the original language of our country is pure magic, which is executed divinely in this performance.

The rupture of rhythms and movements within some more gentle and moving moments captivates its audience with absolute intrigue and focussed attention during this 60min performance.

Now the dancers and performers whom depicted such focus and connection to their craft, pouring the beautiful blend of authenticity and passion into their work, truly depicts the culture, adaptability and craft within this rare and enchanting artistic haven.

The cast are exquisite and brought their own unique blend of rhythmic values and style to their work. Multifaceted in their skills with organic dialogue, musical delivery along with beautifully embodied, intricate rhythms and the ability to gently and effortless captivate their audience.

The cast are so deserving of a mention and deserve a huge congratulations for their magic artistry. Clearly not what you’d consider as all technically trained dancers, yet a wonderful example of how their rawness and openness to embody this art form of expression and creativity in be delivered.

Cast members are: Benjin Maza, Yidindji, Birri Gubba, Meriam Mer,Tanna Island, Keia McGrady, Githabul Migunberri-Yugumbeh Glory Tuohy-Daniell, Indjalandji-Dhidhanu and Alyewarre Olivia Adams, Wulli Wulli Tamara Bouman, and Birpai.  

The choreography and interchanging themes are brilliantly presented from a great team and cast with assistance from Choreographic Dramaturg Vicki Van Hout, Wiradjuri.

This art of storytelling through movement, with the mediums relating to our country and the display of the earth and its creatures are cleverly portrayed and fascinating to witness.

It reminds you of our vast and meaningful heritage, even of a relatively young country.

Showcasing a bold exploration of Nationhood and Treaty. You are taken through a transformative journey of thought provoking stories of Blak Australian communities since colonisation..

The full team are an intricate part of this performance. Lighting is simple yet extremely effective with Lighting Design by Karen Norris.

Sound is invigorating, uplifting and beautifully timed by Music/Sound Designer Sam Pankhurst.

The costumes from Costume Designer Selene Cochrane also add to the performance and showcase each individual artist while complimenting the connection of colours and tones relating to our land.

This production literally gets into your bones while experiencing chills through my body during moments that truly showcase the importance of this message and story. It reminds us of  the true respect and culture of our lands and ancestors with intricate movements following the storytelling of the travels of our iconic Emu as it journey’s across the land under the majestic stars.

Rehearsal Director/Performer Taree Sansbury, Kaurna, Narrunga and Ngarrindjerri and Dramaturg Alethea Beetson, Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi and Wiradjuri have only contributed to this beautifully depicted message and story.

I have not felt this inspired after witnessing a performance of this volume for quite some time.

It’s so clever, quirky, engaging, impactive and joyful to celebrate. What a gift art and creativity is to be able to touch us in this way all while raising awareness of the importance of truth within the platforms and layers of the ever growing systems of society.

Defining Silence under the white noise allowing the true essence of spirit to enter.

It makes you really question where we all come from and more important where we are headed in general, yet specifically of promises made and promises broken.

A MUST see and a gift to be immersed in if you are given the chance, as it’s simply not here long enough. Be sure to follow the journey of Silence as it tours and hopefully returns for more opportunities to truly be seen and heard!

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