Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Short Circuit, May 19-30, 2004

Short Circuit 
Crying Shame by Kamarra Bell-Wykes; Looking Back by Janaya Charles; Soil by Earl Rosas
Next Wave Festival
fortyfivedownstairs, 19 to 30 May, 2004
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on MAy 19

At fortyfivedownstairs, during the two weeks of the Next Wave Festival, nine short works will run in a mixed program of three pieces per evening.

The Short Black Program comprises three aboriginal artists in three solo works written or choreographed by the performers.

Crying Shame features Kamarra Bell-Wykes, a Jagera and Dulingbara woman from South East Queensland.

The half-hour monologue explores the hapless and helpless life of a young single mother.

Susan is trapped in her room with her crying newborn baby.  In almost poetic language, she describes in the third person her hollow life, as if narrating her own pain.

She then shifts into first person when her emotional predicament escalates and the stakes are raised.

Single mothers will recognise with compassion Susan's social isolation, frustration, emotional deprivation and the damage a baby does to a young body and young life.

The metaphoric language is often compelling. Bell-Wykes describes the baby's face as "graffitied with your thoughts".

The piece is interesting but too long. Some repetitions and elaborate language could be edited.

Looking Back is a swift piece written and performed by Janaya Charles and directed by Tammy Anderson.

This ten-minute monologue sees a young woman packing up her recently deceased mother's kitchen.

Charles' character talks to her dead mother as she angrily tosses mum's plates in the rubbish bin.

She flashes back to the dinner table with mum telling her she is marrying the recycling man.

This piece leaves us wanting more of the story of this angry young woman, her sense of abandonment and her fraught relationship with her drug-addicted mother.

The final piece on this program is Soil, a short dance work by Earl Rosas, a Gugu Yimitherr and Yidinji man from North Queensland

His well-trained physique is in constant motion in this fluid choreographic work in three parts: Father, Sun and Autumn.

Rosas seems to spiral from his feet to the floor with much of the action in the upper body.

As he dances, he runs red sand through his fingers or over his body. The title, Soil, refers to the relationship to earth and also to soiling or dirtying.

Each night there is an alternative program in Short Circuit.

LOOK FOR: Variety.

By Kate Herbert

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