From the 14th to the 24th of November I will be taking part in a new artist residency in Australia. STRUT dance centre, Critical Path and Goethe Institut have come together to coordinate a 10 day residency project in the environmental complex of Bundanon in NSW. It is hoped that the skills and ideas generated by the lab may foster new creative partnerships and lead to future cross-cultural projects and performances. I have been asked to join Jecko Siompo (Papa New Guinea), Vicky van Hout of Bangarra Dance Theatre (NSW), Latai Taumoepeau (NSW), Simon Stewart (WA), Fitri Setyaningsih (Java), Jerome Kugan (Malaysia) and Donna Miranda (Phillipines). We will be working under the guidance of curator/dramaturg Tang Fu Kuen (Singapore), blogger/reviewer Pawit Mahasarinand (Thailand, who I met in Jakarta last year and he is AWESOME), and set designer/filmmaker Doris Dziersk (Berlin).
The residency’s focus is to do with the environment, so I got thinking about the ways in which Polynesian people’s connection to the land and the ocean is often seen as being mystical, precious and sacred. Not to make our deep knowledge of our whenua sound insignificant, in fact I wish for quite the opposite. I guess my issue is to do with romanticism, and I’m interested in questioning it. I found this postcard in the dairy below my boyfriend’s apartment in town. It is a picture of a lovely young Maori woman chilling out in her kapahaka gears by the river (as you do). It seems as though she is having a precious and sacred moment with the environment, so I decorated it with smiley face stickers to celebrate.