“We invite people to come and share in an exploration of my ‘being’, in the hopes that they will recognise pieces of themselves or feel some form of connection to the stories we tell.”
Choreographed and performed by the emerging Australian-Maori dancer Isabella Whawhai Mason, with sound design by Andy O’Connor and projections by Edward Dan, ‘oneSELF’ is an exploration of the self and all the facets of one’s identity, as left to be interpreted by the audience in an act of vulnerability and reflection. Isabella’s performance raises questions about whether we can separate ourselves from our identity. She also invites audience members to open themselves up to these experiences and attempt to locate aspects of their own identity within the display, in order to find some sort of connection, some combined humanity within these pieces of selfhood.
The work will have a volatile, fleeting quality to it. Isabella’s filmed movement is set to be manipulated and distorted in a live setting by Edward Dann, using MIDI controllers through VDMX. In this setting, Isabella will also perform vocals which will be looped and run through analogue effects pedals controlled by Andy O’Connor, who will create soundscapes out of her voice. Due to the live, unpredictable nature of the visual and audio work, each performance will be entirely unique, a frozen moment in collective time. As Isabella explains, “Andy and Edward take footage and sound of me and warp this, and how I relate to these things that will always be part of me, but no longer are recogniseable as mine, is such a poignant layer of this work. There is something raw and vulnerable about allowing yourself to be seen and to be deconstructed in the presence of an audience. This piece has almost become a ritual for me, to acknowledge the self – the body, the mind, the histories I have – and to let those things roam.”
Isabella explains the personal impact the show has left on her, and the overall importance of this kind of self-expression; “oneSELF was really an opportunity for me as a young, emerging artist of mixed backgrounds, to explore the interplay of all the things that feed into who I am, and address that in a format that is transferable and understandable. Who we are as human beings and our internal experiences as we travel through life are very interesting to me”.
Three different artists collaborate to explore how we relate to who we are – our gender, our sexuality, our heritage, our culture, our experience, our spirituality – all of the different aspects which combine to create our oneSELF.
For more information and tickets to oneSELF, head to the Melbourne Fringe website.
Venue: Testing Grounds – Black Box
Time: 9:00 PM 14-16th of September
Duration: 45 minutes
Price: $25.00, $20.00 Concession