This Girl is a 10 Days fan. I’ve enjoyed circus, Icelandic puppetry, a Stephanie Alexander master class and dance hall parties including the year I turned 40 and was introduced to Mista Savona
. I haven’t danced so much before or since.
10 Days is Tasmania’s own arts and performance biennial.
It’s inception was probably the beginning of celebrate Tasmania. Since then, festivals have been popping up all over the place. There’s no better place to live than right here, right now.
I was so part-ay-ed out this year that I almost didn’t see 10 Days kick off.
When I finally located a programme, I was not terribly enthused, and it was not just because I was broke. I flicked through it unaffected and then went back for a second look. I asked others what was lighting their fire. There was less fanfare than in previous years. I wondered if we were suffering festival-fatigue, were now too spoilt for choice, funding had dented the programming or this year just wasn’t my thing.
Somehow I still ended up at 10 Days.
Murder, Erth Visual & Physical Inc.
I go my act together and bought tickets for Murder
Billed as Nick Cave inspired, and as a Murder Ballads
fan, I thought I was up for a contemporary puppetry treatise on the criminal act.
I really wasn’t.
I have some sympathy for the notion that we have a fascination with murder because of a self-preservation taboo and the collectivisation that comes with our disdain for it.
In this Girl’s view, as a theatre piece it was underdeveloped and its vignettes incoherent. It leveraged Cave’s reputation by using The Mercy Seat
and Stagger Lee
but that was Cave’s influence manifest. Stagger Lee was performed ostensibly as a puppet lip-sync presumably meant to shock replete with puppet fellatio. The one meaningful vignette explored groupthink and murder at the hands of children. It best challenged the audience about our capacity for harm and mob mentality.
Generally, it wasn’t so much as confronting as boring and obvious. Thumbs down.
Constructed over the three months prior to 10 Days, some of the steel and timber works or MarcusTatnel@RBGT
were reminiscent of Andy Goldsworthy, others invoked medieval monuments, but mostly I thought them creative labour inspired by stacking the winter’s wood supply.
That’s not to say that I know anything about 1. environmental place based work or 2. wood stacking, but I have seen Marcus’ work previously and he is an extremely talented sculptor and carver. It wasn’t my favourite of his work, but I would still seek him out in the future.
Tasmanian Literary Prize, 22 March 2013
The lovely Deputy suggested we mix Friday afternoon drinks up and gatecrash the Tasmanian Literary Prize at the Town Hall. Apart from the excellent opportunity to both showcase and celebrate Tasmanian writers, there was free Tasmanian sparkling and nibbles. The bonus was Rohan Wilson won the Margaret Scott Award for The Roving Party, an exquisitely beautiful, violent and personalised piece on Tasmania’s pursuit and massacre of Aboriginals. If you haven’t, do yourself a favour. It is an excellent book and a well deserved award.
In January Yoga-Woman suggested we get tickets to dance in March. I was on the west coast in the Britz Alive with the lovely Deputy, Skater-boy and ‘I’m the arty one’. I had no idea what I was agreeing to but it turns out it was 10 Days. One of these tickets was physical theatre and it was Ockham’s Razor.
Ockham’s Razor, a British physical theatre ensemble presented a piece of each of their three performances to date. Two of the three pieces were performed in the air, the first on a metal ‘raft’ and the second on a trapeze. The first piece playfully explored relationships, connections and interdependence and moved between the schoolyard to the literal life raft where the performers were forced to recognise ‘we’re all in it together’.
I love aerial work for its sheer physicality and the humour and themes that Ockham’s Razor bought to the production were charming and entertaining.
What’s an Ockham’s Razor? It’s a problem solving logic which goes like this – usually the answer is the simplest solution.
Luminous flux, Tasdance
The second piece was Luminous flux, two of their works, including one piece choreographed by the late Tanja Liedtke, Enter Twilight.
Is now the time to say I presented the tickets with such gusto exclaiming we were siting in the row DD that it sounded like I was extolling the virtues of someone’s bra-size. Sigh.
The first piece was mechanical and production focused. There was tension between conformity and individuality, relationships and how intimacy is ultimately subsumed by hegemony.
The second was a ritualistic, cult-like exploration of emotion and conformity. Yoga-Woman thought some of the strobe lighting was a bit obvious but this Girl likes to disco and the accompanying electronic music made me feel like I was Oxford Street. It was a solid performance by Tasdance.
Now 10 Days has come to an end again.
On a personal note, I really missed the dance hall events this year, a night of dancing and partying at the City Hall. They have introduced Tasmania to diverse and fun music from all around.
Even though I was initially ambivalent, I am pleased for all my 10 Days experiences this year. It is an excellent concept. A celebration of Tasmania, delivered regionally, exposing us isolates to the world and in doing so, bringing that world to us. I’m glad I got my act together. I’ll make sure I do it again next time.
The next 10 Days will be held on 20-29 March 2015.
What did you think of 10 Days?