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Australian Dance Theatre brings together four continents in ‘Convergence’

Australian Dance Theatre's 'Convergence'. Photo by Sam Roberts Photography.

Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) has pulled off a global coup, bringing together some of the world’s most exciting choreographers for Convergence at The Odeon, 5 – 8 May. 

Adelaide audiences will see an exclusive program of five short, live works from artists in South Australia and beaming in from around the world. 

ADT's 2021 Associate Artist Adrianne Semmens. Photo by Sam Roberts Photography; Goodwood Train Station artwork by Elizabeth Close, Shane Cook and Thomas Readett.
ADT’s 2021 Associate
Artist Adrianne Semmens.
Photo by Sam Roberts Photography;
Goodwood Train Station
artwork by Elizabeth Close,
Shane Cook and Thomas Readett.

Headlining Convergence is Immerse, the breakthrough work of ADT’s 2021 Associate Artist Adrianne Semmens, which draws on Semmens’ identity as a descendent of the Barkindji people of New South Wales, and explores our essential relationship with both fresh and salt water. 

“The river is in my blood, I carry a longing for freshwater country, but my body only knows salt water growing up and living on Kaurna country close to the beach,” said Semmens. “Connection to water was a theme I wanted to examine, both the healing and comfort that water provides but also our vulnerability in relation to it.” 

The South Australian First Nations Dance Collective, led by Director of Choreography Gina Rings. Photo by Luke Currie Richardson.
The South Australian First
Nations Dance Collective,
led by Director of
Choreography Gina Rings.
Photo by Luke Currie Richardson.

That sense of healing and connection is also imagined in Iti, an emotionally moving work presented by the South Australian First Nations Dance Collective, choreographed by Gina Rings with music from acclaimed duo Electric Fields. 

Philippe Kratz.
Philippe Kratz.

Iti (“baby” in Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) looks at the stolen past of Australia’s First Nations people, family unity and female empowerment. 

From there, Convergence starts globetrotting with the three most recent winners of the world’s oldest and most renowned annual competition for new choreography, the International Choreographic Competition Hannover.

2018 winner, German-born Philippe Kratz, uses to explore the concept of eternal life and the blurred lines between artificial intelligence and the human condition through the chance meeting of two humanoid robots at a Hong Kong tech show. 

Oscar Buthelezi.
Oscar Buthelezi.

In 2019, South Africa’s Oscar Buthelezi won the Hannover prize for Road, which considers the various pathways, meeting points, challenges and final destinations we choose as we make our way through life. 

And then from Vietnam, Trial by 2020 Hannover recipient Tu Hoang uses the power of two dancers and the Eastern influences of martial art and tai chi to consider concepts of proximity and distance, the past and the present. 

Tu Hoang.
Tu Hoang.

“Through ADT’s International Centre for Choreography, we are uniquely placed to attract the best of the best to present work to local audiences, and that’s something of which we are very proud,” said ADT Executive Director Nick Hays. “Convergence is high calibre from start to finish and is a virtual atlas of contemporary dance all in the one program. That we have been able to bring it all together, to actually converge, is something that is very exciting for Australian contemporary dance and audiences in Adelaide.” 

Tickets are now on sale and, with the recent easing of restrictions, Australian Dance Theatre’s Convergence will be performed at The Odeon at 100 percent capacity. For tickets and more information, visit adt.org.au/event/convergence.

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