Contemporary Dance VS a Full Moon

Looks like the sun, but it is last nights full moon

Looks like the sun, but it is last nights full moon

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.
In October last year, I returned from a four week European vacation.
It was a great holiday.
Whilst I was in London, I was a culture vulture, going to West End Musicals and theatre, museums and the like….oh yes, and two contemporary dance shows.
Contemporary Dance and I had never been on a date before, and I was thrown in the deep end as the friends I was staying with in London town were avid consumers of the dancing movement.
Not saying I was hooked on the new form of human expression I was exposed too…rather intrigued, curious….and so on returning to OZ, I early awaited for the Sydney Festival 2014 program to be released.
Pining for the holiday that was action packed, back in October of last year I booked 4 shows in the space of one week.
This week is that week….and last night I saw the first show, Forklift, a contemporary dance piece involving a forklift and 3 dancers.
It was unusual, odd, at times disturbing and at times awe inspiring…the movements theses dancers put their bodies through….breathtaking.
Art in motion.
And then it was over.
As I left the theatre I was reminded Sydney is in the middle of summer. It is HOT.
I got in my car and drove with the air conditioning on high. As I neared by home by the sea, I glanced up at the beam of light that was glowing in the night sky. The full Moon. It was beautiful.
In an instant I forgot about returning to my house, and drove to the seaside, so I could watch the moon for a bit, and her yellow light show dancing on the ocean.
What a sight!
Yes, the Contemporary dance piece was inspiring, showing a seated audience of all that is possible through considered movement…..but the moon, the full moon, captivated me and stole my heart last night.

Daniel Kitson

Daniel Kitson– The Factory Theatre, Marrickville

A Monday night, 9pm in an industrial part of the inner west Sydney…a large group gathers…people stand in a make shift outdoor bar, sipping on wine in plastic cups and beer from glass bottles.

Winter has set in….Heaters warm patrons who are eager to get inside the venue, eager to see the bearded man himself, UK stand up comic, Mr Daniel Kitson….we wait in the cold…collectively we know, as we struggle to keep warm, it will be worth it.

For an evening with this comedy genius is guaranteed to transport you far from the hum drum of daily existence,  it is like taking a one way ticket on the ‘ giggle express’….a ride you never really want to get off once you fasten your seatbelt.

Upon entering the theatre, it soon becomes clear that this show is to going to be different….For starters, when Kitson appears, the beard, the famous beard, is  GONE, so to the unruly hair-do….Standing before us is a bald man, with a bit smattering of chin fluff….

The audience attempts to adjusts to this change, turning to their partners to state the obvious ‘ The BEARD is gone?!’…. repositioning themselves in their chair, in the hope is will reveal the old Kitson?, the bearded one, the man who appeared old before his time, in a cardigan and black rimmed glasses.

A change in seating position fails to alter the appearance of the man on stage….the glasses remain but the cardigan and head / face hair are gone…And before is a  liberated Kitson…someone  who appears more at ease, lighter, yet more irreverent, philosophical, whity, charming…

A night with Daniel … like a night with modern-day philosopher Alain De Botton…but with humour in a quantity that should not be legal.

I was introduced to Daniel Kitson’s comedy by a good friend…’ You must check out this comedian…he is funny’…

Heartened to hear that a person employed to make people chuckle delivered the goods, I brought tickets to his 2008 show ‘The Impotent Fury Of The Privileged’, again when he visited Australia in 2010 with his show ‘66a Church Road – A Lament Made of Memories and Kept in Suitcases’ , followed by front row seats for his 2011 show ‘The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church’….yes, some might say I jumped on the Daniel Kitson bandwagon.

I think of Daniel Kitson as a wordsmith, a modern day philosopher and story teller, who uses words to make sense of the everyday, the extraordinary, the mundane, the surreal,  the troublesome, the downright depressing…

Kitson comedy is fast, his words and thoughts pour forth at a frenetic pace,  once abroad the Kitson giggle train, seat belts are recommended. His observations, his pondering, his thoughts are cleverly crafted, the tales he tell all have a point, he starts what he finishes…An the audience laughs every step of the way.

He present the fragility of life, human failings and fumbling,  triumphs and joys  with such clarity and  wit… ….His show comprises of comedy presented with care, attention to detail, compassion and humility…and this provides the  audience to a range of comedic experiences …Kitson’s act encourages laughter, cackling, chuckling, gasping, bewilderment, brief moments for thoughtful respite, followed once more by laughter.

If you find Daniel Kitson performing at a venue near you, close to you ,miles from where you live…book yourself a ticket…board the giggle train to a world where clever ponderings and well crafted stories will entertain and delight…indulge in a night of comedy where a new perspective on the everyday, the ordinary will be unleashed…at speed!!

Friendship Fire Starter- Common Interest- Modern Art

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

The re-opening of Sydney’s Museum of Contempory Art ( MCA) Gallery at Circular Quay has reignited my interest in all things modern and art.

It has also forced me to examine the person I am, the person I was and the person I want to be.

Some might ask, how can the re-opening of a Modern Art space force a person to evaluate the nature of self?

To better understand the MCA’s hold over me I must return to 1996, when I was a  17 year old High School Art student in Wollongong.

High School…I cringe as I recall the person I was, quiet, closed off, lacking in confidence…qualities that impacted all attempts at artistic expression…My artwork was restrained, I never really found my own way to express myself, choosing to  imitate others.

Mid way through this year, when our regular Art teacher took annual leave, our class was graced with a relief Art teacher…from Sydney.

The name of this teacher escapes me…but such details are not important…what was important that this women took a look around our class, and the art work we were producing and was not afraid to tell us that it was all ‘ rubbish’….it was ‘ too safe’ it was not ‘ challenging’ or ‘reflective’ of the individual.

Our class has never been subjected to criticism…It was if everything we had ever produced was ‘ wonderful’…Yet this outside from ‘ Sydney’ begged to differ….’ What you all need is a good shake up’ I recall her saying one day….

And shake things up she did…She sent me from the class room one day, to head down to the beach, to captures the true essence of the landscape, the formation of waves, to inspire freedom in my brush strokes and drawing…’ You can’t continue to draw pictures of the sea within classroom walls!!’

To me it felt I was being expelled…I was humiliated….but looking back on the experience I believe this teacher was right….Our class did need a big shake up, we needed to be a bit freer, creative in our expression….but in all honestly, creative freedom for me did not come till much much later….But I look back on this 1996 life lesson with fondness…It was just the beginning for me!!

And then this teacher dared to take us on an excursion to an Art Gallery, in Sydney, on a Saturday!!

‘ You all need to be exposed to what is currently being produced in the art world…and we will do it on a Saturday’

Outrageous, unheard of….Amazing

The Museum of Contempory Art, Sydney….a group of motley 17 and 18 year olds from Wollongong ascend on the gallery, welcomed at the entrance by a 15 metre tall puppy sculpture, covered in live flowers by Jeff Koons…

Koons Puppy outside the MCA 1996

Koons Puppy outside the MCA 1996

Fast forward to 2012, and the MCA has undergone a transformation, it is now bigger, bolder and more beautiful than ever, a world class creative space to house an eclectic mix of modern art from around the globe.

I too have undergone a transformation, one cannot help but do that with the passing of time.

That wonderful teacher who’s name escapes me might have even played a tiny part!! Yes, I still went on to submit art work in my final year of high school that was both cautious and safe, and academically I was penalised for it!!

But the passing of time has lead to the emergence of a person no so constrained and constricted, more at ease and freer…both in herself and her creative expression.

Sometimes I wish that I had been capable of throwing caution to the wind back in 1996, when this Art teacher tried to show me another way of being, in one aspect of my person , but I was not bold enough, confident enough to what back then, seemed like a monumental step.

But in the here and now, 2012…I am ready…and so I encourage you to take yourself, a group of friends, that special someone in your life to the MCA…Just as it does for me, may the gallery and its content challenge you to be your authentic self.

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