Dance News Australia

Dance @ MIAF

The anticipated 2010 Melbourne International Arts Festival is this month!
Running from October 8 to 23 in venues across Melbourne, this year’s festival includes some must see dance works. 

Australian Premiere
Michael Clark Company – come, been and gone
The worlds of classical ballet, modern dance and explosive rock music collide head on, yet coexist in perfect harmony in this exhilarating Australian premiere of Michael Clark’s come, been and gone, at the Arts Centre, State Theatre from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 October.

The playful and provocative smash hit of the 2009 Edinburgh Festival is set to be this year’s must see Melbourne Festival event. Created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Michael Clark Company, critically acclaimed come, been and gone is danced primarily to the music of the legendary David Bowie. It embraces the work of his key collaborators Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Brian Eno as well as touching on some of his influences including The Velvet Underground and Kraftwerk amongst others.

Launched in 1984, the Michael Clark Company was an immediate success in the UK and internationally. During this time Clark began his collaboration with fashion designers and visual artists. He has undertaken many commissions for major companies and Festivals such The Paris Opera, Scottish Ballet, London Festival Ballet, London Dance Umbrella, Phoenix Dance Company, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Ballet Rambert, with that work receiving the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production in 2005.

Dates: Fri 8 & Sat 9 Oct at 7.30pm, Sun 10 Oct at 5pm
Venue: the Arts Centre, State Theatre
Warning: Loud Music, Adult Themes, Partial Nudity

Vertical Road. Photo: Richard Haughton

World Premiere Season

Akram Khan Company – Vertical Road
The internationally acclaimed Akram Khan Company makes its long awaited Melbourne debut with the World Premiere Season of Vertical Road at The CUB Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre from Tuesday 19 to Saturday 23 October.

Celebrated dancer and choreographer Akram Khan is known for bringing vitality and innovation to crosscultural, cross-disciplinary expression. His latest creation Vertical Road draws inspiration from universal myths of angels that symbolise ‘ascension’: the road between the earthly and the spiritual, the ‘vertical road’.

Khan has assembled a cast of extraordinarily talented performers from across Asia, Europe and the Middle East including Australia’s very own Paul Zivkovich and has worked with long-term collaborator composer, Nitin Sawhney, who has created a specially commissioned score for this thought-provoking piece. Balancing a carefully crafted structure and innovative lighting, Vertical Road has a richly diverse quality, played out through each performer’s different cultural interpretation of the human odyssey.

Dates: Tue 19 – Sat 23 Oct at 8pm
Venue: The CUB Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre

Haptic. Photo: Shin Yamagata

Australian Premiere
Hiroaki Umeda – Adapting for Distortion & Haptic
Digital sounds, neon-coloured lighting and minimalist movement combine to create a technologically charged world controlled by Japanese performer Hiroaki Umeda. Tokyo-based Umeda brings to Melbourne Festival two of his recent installations for body, sound and light, Adapting for Distortion and Haptic, playing at The CUB Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 October.

Umeda is a choreographer, dancer, sound artist and lighting designer whose work is minimal and radical, subtle and violent, and very much in touch with his contemporary Japanese roots. His movement style draws upon an eclectic training in ballet, hip-hop and butoh. A self-described pluridisciplinary artist, Umeda creates his work entirely from scratch; the lighting, music and video all devised on his laptop computer.

Distortion of time, change of movement and immobility are at the heart of Adapting for Distortion. Engulfed in computer generated sounds and optical effects, Umeda’s body seems to slowly fade away and go out of focus within the luminous lines and spirals, until it is a mere vibration, a shadow of its real self.
In Haptic, Umeda leaves behind computing and video projection to concentrate on the effects of light and colour. Beautiful bright colours shift and morph in relation to his fluid movements creating an exquisite visual and sonic experience. Umeda uses this performance to focus on the physical aspect of the perception of colour, not simply to show it, but to give substance to the relationship it has with dance.

Dates: Thu 14 – Sat 16 Oct at 8pm, Sun 17 Oct at 5pm
Venue: The CUB Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre
Warning: Loud Music, Strobe Lighting

For more information about the 2010 Melbourne International Arts Festival and ticket purchasing visit

Top photo: Simon Williams. Photo: Jake Walters

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