Photos – Jeff Busby
Divided by a river of playing cards, Vicki Van Hout's Briwyant divides, distorts and attempts to reconnect Indigenous dreaming with modern culture. An intense journey of the interpersonal relationships between time and space, traditional storytelling, suburban mediocrity and the ever-changing landscape of Koori identity is explored through Van Hout's dynamic choreography.
Van Hout and her exceptional troupe of dancers dominate the stage in a mix of classical and contemporary dance, weaving and twisting through the (literal) ties that bind us in family and in friendship.
Developed on the Indigenous concept "bir'yun," (to make shiny) the parallels between painting and dance are explored through shape and using the concept of art as a financial commodity. The playing cards both symbolize dots on a canvas as well as the darker gambling powers sweeping the country.
The story is complex and at times hard to grasp, yet the dancers on stage are nothing short of brilliant. Each performer brings such passion and talent that any narrative flaws are easily forgiven.
Using a mixture of modern media, digital projections and an eclectic soundscape of 1920's jazz, whimsical nature sounds and the thumping beats of a dance club, Briwyant is an example of the complexity of Indigenous living and the difficulty in respecting the traditional while embracing the new.
With so much story to cram into an hour-long performance it is easy to get lost in the movement rather than interpret Van Hout's vision. What has been created is a stunning piece of contemporary dance, expertly executed by exceptional dancers. Briwyant is a gorgeous piece of art, as bright and shiny as Van Hout intended.
Malthouse Theatre presents
by Vicki Van Hout
Venue: C.U.B Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre 113 Sturt St Southbank 3006
Dates: 4 – 14 July, 2012
Tickets: $41 – $58
Bookings: www.malthousetheatre.com.au | 03 9685 5111
Venue: Turbine Studio, Brisbane Powerhouse
Dates: 1- 4 August 2012
Tickets: $25 - $35
Bookings: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org / 61 7 3358 8600