|Song for a Weary Throat|
as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival
“Dance with me,” she asked.
“Dance with me,” she insisted.
“Why won't you dance with me?”
She crossed the desolate space, walking from one ensemble member to the next, asking for a small moment of joy amongst the rubble and the carnage.
Some kind of cataclysm has occurred. The survivors are scattered around the stage. Whatever has happened, whatever trauma has taken place, it keeps happening. The deafening noise and the sharp explosions of bright light upends whatever moment of comfort we can glean when our eyes adjust.
And it happens again.
How do you get up when the world keeps shifting below your feet? How do you find your voice and song again after it’s been drowned out by the din of destruction?
Rawcus’ new work, Song for a Weary Throat, debuted at Theatre Works in 2017 and has been programmed now as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The work has been devised amongst a creative team and an ensemble of performers, under the direction of Kate Sulan.
The company creates theatre that draws on dance and visual arts and for this show has collaborated with the Invenio Singers, who lend their exquisite singing voices to this very moving experience.
Jethro Woodward’s sound design and musical direction create a particularly memorable soundscape – unnerving and upsetting at times, loud noises keeping the audience on edge. Emily Barrie’s set design suggests a possible post-Apocalyptic bunker, detritus scattered across the stage, chairs and ramps and ladders slowly being woven into the fabric of the performances and dance.
The Rawcus ensemble includes performers both with and without disability and all are fully committed to realising Sulan’s vision – an impression and a representation of people finding the strength to stand up and speak up in a world that insists on making that harder every day.
There were joyous moments when most of the ensemble took a running jump off the edge of a ramp. And equally upsetting moments when one half of the ensemble watched the others struggling to crawl up a steep incline, unwilling to help them.
In the midst of despair, Song for a Weary Throat finds hope – something we’re in desperate need of in 2018.