A world premiere performance, Wildebeest examines the artifice of social and gender behaviour through a distillation of human interactions. The piece has been choreographed to an original score by sound composer Kieran Warner-Hunt, and will be performed by Chimene Steele-Prior, Naomi Hibberd, Allie Graham, Mason Peronchik and Sharon Backley-Astrachan.
“Although my works always come from a very personal place, I feel that Wildebeest gave me room to explore my place within the social construct,” said Backley-Astrachan. “Through a process of distillation, I am trying to peel off layers of conventions to reveal some truths about feminism and western thinking, and experience those distillations without judgment.”
Following Wildebeest will be the Australian premiere of Valley – a dark and enchanting work that is set on a frozen and desolate Arctic island where a small society of four co-exist. Through Backley-Astrachan’s exquisite choreography, Valley explores solitude, vulnerability and sensuality.
Originally created as a solo performance in 2016, Valley has developed into an ensemble piece featuring Backley-Astrachan, Sharon Backley-Astrachan, Allie Graham and Matthew Mizyed. The work premiered at the 2017 Summer Dance Festival in Tel Aviv.
“It seems to me that at some point in the process, Valley started breathing, living and thinking on its own. It is now withholding secrets from us that we so eagerly discover every time we perform,” said Backley-Astrachan.
Based in New South Wales, Backley-Astrachan’s works have been invited to venues and festivals across Australia and overseas. Additionally, he has worked with choreographers including Dean Walsh, Kay Armstrong and Joshua Thomson, as well as international artists such as Nick Cave and Marina Abramovic.
Wildebeest – Choreographer: Omer Backley-Astrachan Performers: Chimene Steele-Prior, Naomi Hibberd, Allie Graham, Mason Peronchik, Sharon Backley-Astrachan Music: Kieran Warner-Hunt
Valley – Choreographer: Omer Backley-Astrachan Performers: Omer Backley-Astrachan, Sharon Backley-Astrachan, Allie Graham, Mathew Mizyed Music: Timothy Constable Lighting Design: Karen Norris
Wildebeest & Valley
Lennox Theatre – Riverside Theatres, Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Season continues to 17 February 2018
Information and Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au
Image: Valley – photo by Heidrun Lohr