Ever wish you could ride a kangaroo? Maybe pet some koalas (not too much!) and throw a shrimp on the barbie before wowing everyone with your awesome accent? Well, while we may not have the exact solution, we do have the next best thing.
The Skirball Center is in the midst of “Visions + Voices,” a new Global Performance Series dedicated to introducing the sights and sounds of a culture to the Village. The current series focuses on Australia, and it features dance, music, theater, and film, among other things. Its aim is to educate and entertain viewers to the various cultural aspects of the Australian people.
The Skirball Center calls their “Visions + Voices Global Performance Series” a “thrilling new program highlighting international artists from a chosen locale.” The series, it says, “will bring a global site into sharp focus with dance, circus, music, theater, film, visual art, and dialogue…it will be a springtime filled with possibilities.” The vibrant culture of Australia offers many beautiful performances and interesting events, some of which have already started the performance series off with a bang.
In February, the dances of Meryl Tankard’s The Oracle started things off with “a solo work of astonishing physicality and intensity driven by Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring.’” Using dance as the first method to connect Australia to New York audiences was a smart way to demonstrate the universality of movement and performance. The commonality of the human experience through performance suggests this as the central theme concerning the series.
Continuing on the path of cultural connectivity, February 22nd offered The Black Arm Band: dirtsong, comprising “a series of musical “conversations” in which the artists reflect on their country” through Aboriginal language and the backdrop of film. The performance “conjures not only a sense of geographical place, but encounters, memories, obligations, community and nature.”
“The Sapphires,” the next chapter in the series, will be screened this Sunday at 7 pm. The film, directed by Wayne Blair, follows four Australian Aboriginal girls as they entertain US Troops in Vietnam with their soulful singing group. It received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, and sounds like an interesting counterpart to the American movie “Dream Girls.”
Besides this Sunday’s screening, the series also has a few more upcoming events. “Circa: Wunderkammer,” an Australian Cirque du Soleil-type show with roots in acrobatics and traditional circus performance, will run from March 20 to March 23. In addition, April 20th and 21st bring us showings of “The Adventures Of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer,” a “one-man micro-epic puppet show.” Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate the, uh, holiday.