Belgian-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui questions the legitimacy of written representations in Apocrifu. This thought-provoking piece interrogates the myths we hold close in a performance?about the power of words to antagonise and divide. Set in Herman Sorgeloos’ imposing wooden staircase to a desired heaven, the stage is also strewn with books, representing the history of religious texts. Yasuyuki Shuto, a classical dancer from the Ballet of Tokyo, and Dimitri Jourde, a contemporary dancer and circus artist, join Cherkaoui to cultivate an intriguing range of movements as if coming from distinct universes, exploring the way language can produce powerful meanings and manipulations. The all-male Coriscan vocal ensemble A Filetta provides a stunning orchestral background to this meaningful production. This is an event not just for lovers of dance, but for those engaged in critical thinking, as Aprocrifu reminds us there is no “absolute rightness”, and certainly no such thing as innocent words.
Heath Ledger Theatre, February 25-27
FIVE BY NIGHT: BALLET AT THE QUARRY
Ballet at the Quarry has long been a highlight of Perth’s summer arts calendar. The Quarry Amphitheatre is truly magical on its own, but when Western Australia’s elite ballet dancers grace the stage, it becomes almost transcendent. The program features two works by British choreographer David Dawson, who creative director Aurélien Scannella describes as one of the most “beloved choreographers of this century”. “We’re lucky enough to welcome two of his works: On the Nature of Daylight, a breathtaking pas de deux to the music of Max Richter; and 5, a work that challenges the traditionalism of music from Adolphe Adam’s Giselle,” Aurélien says. “To the Pointe, a hip hop/ballet mash-up, and soloist Andre Santos’ In Black, will bring high energy and excitement, along with a new creation by Australian choreographer Craig Davidson.” Five by Night strikes the intricate balance between classical ballet and edgy contemporary, making for another season not to be missed. Quarry Amphitheatre, February 5-27.
BURN THE FLOOR
Whether it’s the foxtrot or the cha-cha, there’s something electrifying about watching the energy of ballroom dancing unfold on the stage. After heating up the boards around the world, high-voltage dance sensation Burn the Floor returns to Perth, with a live band and bevy of ballroom stars turning the theatre into a spirited dance party. The connection between partners is a force to be reckoned with – it’s strong, sexy, and very impressive. Regal Theatre, March 23-April 5.
How do the world’s religions really view deafness and disability? What does it mean to have both impairment and faith? Glasgow-based, self-identifying disabled artist Claire Cunningham moves the discourse of disability from politics to religion in this illuminating show. Through the misuse and distortion of crutches, objects that have been part of her life since the age of 14, Cunningham’s movement vocabulary is truly mesmerising. Guide Gods features live music and interviews with religious leaders, academics and deaf and disabled people, delving further into Cunningham’s dialogue around physicality and religion. Her choreography celebrates non-normative bodies by rejecting traditional dance techniques. Through the culmination of word and movement, this performance defies expectations of dance, and also crosses problematic political and theological boundaries. She brings her compelling work to the 2016 Perth International Arts Festival as this year’s Artist in Residence. Victoria Hall, Feb 11-21.
This New York dance spectacular will whisk you away to another time and place.
Shen Yun chronicles China’s ancient legends, igniting the divine land and reimagining a world where deities and mortals co-exist. Chinese dance is known for its elegance, energy, and spirit; an age-old form, expressing rich culture and spirited tradition. A unique orchestra weaves together the traditions of the East and the West, seeking to revive China’s lost civilisation. This production has received rave reviews for its mixture of classical dance, music, and animated backdrops. Regal Theatre, January 30-February 6.