Silence – REVIEW 

Silence – REVIEW 
Image: SILENCE by Blakdance. Image: supplied

By KYE ANSON

The Sydney Opera House was host to a minimal, yet very powerful dance performance. A drum kit tucked away to the back of the set and raw vocals are all SILENCE, this UnWrapped masterpiece, needed. 

As the audience sat down, they were greeted by several figures standing around the room with their backs turned. An unusual but refreshing break from the conventional rules of facing the audience. We took this as an expression from the director trying to convey the message of the First Nations people, standing against the grain and fighting for what is right.

The dancers worked in tandem to the beat of boomerangs clapping together. Eventually it became the thump of a kick drum as the dancers swayed across the stage. 

To break the silence, there was an encapsulating monologue spoken in Yugambeh language. Pieces of the monologue were scattered throughout the show — it was Thomas E.S Kelly’s unique way of telling the story. 

SILENCE by Blakdance. Image: supplied

Given that the show was about such a serious topic, the audience didn’t anticipate a comedic skit amongst it all. A touch of a light-hearted jab in the form of a phone call from the First Nations people to the Commonwealth of Australia. Our rent is due and the rightful landlords have come knocking. 

Special mention needs to be given to Thomas E.S Kelly, artistic director of Karul Projects, for the choreography. Every move flowed right into place and not one foot out of step. Drawing on traditional First Nations dances, as well as incorporating contemporary dance throughout the play, the choreography shows much of what SILENCE conveyed. 

Undoubtedly, the most powerful production elements in the entire show was the dust. The dancers covered the stage in dirt and moved through piles upon piles of dust. Clouds of it increased throughout the performance, spreading across the entire stage to signify the First Nations people claiming back their land. 

In a time where the Treaty conversation is very much prevalent, SILENCE has managed to take pieces of Aboriginal history and put it in the forefront of our minds. 

https://www.blakdance.org.au

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