Yonder

Second stage development presented at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, November 2018.

Image:  Emma Fishwick
 

YONDER is a new dance work in development that layers movement, live sound & live sculpture to explore the contradictions that arise from the conflation of gender & environment. Featuring 7 leading WA-based dance & contemporary artists at State Theatre Centre of WA,

YONDER utilises multiple live layers & the unique Australian landscape as an access point to note & shifts ideas of gender & ecology, how they sit within our urgent global converations. With a highly-experienced intergenerational female cast (Sue Peacock, Shona Erskine, Isabella Stone & Storm Helmore), live sound (Brett Smith) & a growing floral sculpture (Bruce McKiven) that slowly takes over the stage, YONDER looks to past norms & current conversations to consider our future landscapes.

Mother Nature, Gaia: the land & sea referenced as ‘she’. Four female performers embody the complexities of the landscape as something to be tamed, harnessed & exploited to serve the interests of men. Historically, the merging of ecology & femininity has relegated both to being controlled & devalued, has it changed? Landscape looms large in the Australian imagination. From the dusty red centre to its pearly white coastlines, there is contradiction in this imaginary. During European settlement, the harshness of the varied Australian landscape was seen as a man’s space yet often described with associated “female” qualities of passivity, inviolability, mystery & allure. 

These fraught & juxtaposing notions are what drives YONDER to examine historically embedded notions of landscape as written & expressed in the female body. Through reconstructing memory, space & time, YONDER unpacks contemporary debates around climate change & #metoo to consider a different way forward.