Sea of dance at Rain­bow fes­ti­val

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Or­gan­is­ers of an in­au­gu­ral MAP Rain­bow fes­ti­val in the south­ern Mallee are ap­ply­ing the fin­ish­ing touches to prepa­ra­tions for Satur­day’s event.

The unique event is part of the Oa­sis Rain­bow Small Town Trans­for­ma­tions Project and coin­cides with a visit to Rain­bow by 17 dancers and mu­si­cians from the re­mote moun­tain vil­lage of Pelem in East Java.

More than 40 na­tional and in­ter­na­tional artists, dancers and the­atri­cal per­form­ers will turn Rain­bow’s usu­ally quiet Fed­eral Street into a sea of dance, sound and street the­atre as they ‘pop up’ for 15-minute to one-hour per­for­mances through­out the Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Wim­mera Wotjobaluk dancers and south­ern Mallee artist Belinda Eck­er­mann will also join the vis­it­ing artists.

Oa­sis creative di­rec­tor and Rain­bow res­i­dent Dianne Dick­son said eight dif­fer­ent sites along Fed­eral Street would be­come tem­po­rary stages for an eclec­tic mix of per­for­mances.

“Our amaz­ing artists re­ally have been drawn from all over the world and in­clude peo­ple from Ecuador, Hong Kong, East Java, Malaysia, Ire­land, Philip­pines, Ja­pan and of course the Wotjobaluk dancers,” she said.

“Among the long list of per­form­ers is a ge­ol­o­gist from Mel­bourne Univer­sity whose day job in­volves fir­ing gamma rays at rocks.

“While she talks about Rain­bow’s geo data, her per­for­mance part­ner will be record­ing and draw­ing her.

“We will also take the con­cept of noises in the kitchen to a new place with Sonic Elec­tric, a per­for­mance that ex­plores vari­a­tions in sound be­hav­iour of ex­per­i­men­tal noise from kitchen tools.

“An­other per­for­mance, Rain­bow’s Breath, will use bal­loons to con­sider the air that con­nects peo­ple and place and the worlds of rain­bows.

“Holly Huon presents Danc­ing my Skele­ton while other per­form­ers will touch on mem­o­ries, how we view the world, loss, beauty and the cy­cles of life.”

Ms Dick­son said the fes­ti­val would be a fit­ting fi­nale to nearly a week of cross-cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties with the 17 vis­it­ing mu­si­cians and dancers from the Sam­pang Agung Cen­tre for Pre­form­ing Arts in East Java.

Ms Dick­son was touched by sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Pelem and Rain­bow when she spent time in the vil­lage sev­eral years ago.

“I ob­served their con­nec­tion to the land­scape, fam­ily life and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment,” she said.

She said MAP fes­ti­vals were also about cre­ation, col­lab­o­ra­tion, ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and ex­change be­tween artists.

“Rain­bow is part of a fam­ily of MAP fes­ti­vals in Malaysia, In­done­sia, In­dia, Thai­land, The Nether­lands and Aus­tralia which pro­vide a stage for artists to take their work to au­di­ences from all walks of life,” she said.

“I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to our event in Rain­bow and hope that through the arts, it moves us a lit­tle closer to trans­form­ing our un­der­stand­ing of oth­ers and our­selves.”

The fes­ti­val will of­fi­cially open at 1pm be­fore ac­tiv­ity moves to eight sites along and around Fed­eral Street.

Street ac­tiv­i­ties will con­tinue un­til 6pm when the East Ja­vanese and Wotjobaluk dancers per­form to­gether in the grounds of Oa­sis Rain­bow.

This will be fol­lowed by pro­jec­tions of the south­ern Mallee land­scape and sounds, old footage and images and those cre­ated by lo­cal stu­dents us­ing three pro­jec­tor bikes.

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