This immersive performance from the prolific artist features his trademark confection of conversation, exploring his journey as a queer man with Indigenous heritage, navigating his identity in an increasingly complex world.
Joel is looking to live the sweet life, yet the sugar hits of nostalgia and fantasy are all too short-lived, and behind it all there’s a need that can never be sated. Here he probes one of the paradoxes of our age: when so much is on offer, why are we left so hungry?
From the sugar-coated idyll of childhood reminiscence to the glazed excesses of queer adulthood, Joel’s story proves that a sweet tooth is a dangerous thing. Short-lived highs give way to the inevitable comedowns before the cycle begins all over again.
And like a kid in a candy store, an imperial hunger for Aboriginal Australia consumes all it encounters – land, women and children – like fistfuls of sugar. Hilarious, provocative and heartfelt, Daddy tickles the nerve endings of desire while prodding the cavities left by colonisation.
Bray’s debut performance at Midsumma Festival comes after a decorated decade that has involved the creation of pieces such as Daharawungara (2018) and Biladurang (2017). In his latest work, the Melbourne artist is on a journey of personal investigation, fetishization and colonisation.
Joel has developed a reputation as one of the most electric new figures in Australian dance who has an uncanny ability to explore his journey and unapologetically present it in a conversational manner. His creative works have drawn praise from audiences and critics alike and the appearance of Daddy on the Midsumma stage will only add further weight to his creative repertoire.
“Daddy demonstrated that we are indeed living in a blak queer cultural renaissance. And while there are struggles yet to come, unique perspectives are finally being celebrated.” – ABC Arts
State Theatre Rehearsal Room – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 4 – 8 February 2020
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Image: Joel Bray stars in Daddy – photo by James Henry