Facade: A Brutal Baroque performance event

Chrissie-Parrott-AO-Inside-OutOriginally created by Chrissie Parrott AO, Facade is a dance theatre work that was presented at the Moores Building for the 1986 Perth Fringe Festival.

In September, this unique work is re-imagined, re-scored and re-scaled in a return season and embedded as a precious jewel that sits inside a striking visual masterpiece conjured up from Chrissie’s landscape of imagination.

Featuring six virtuosic dancers, Facade sees Stefan Karlsson, who performed in the original Moores season, joined by Claudia Alessi, David Mack, Nicola Wade, Ava Hart and Talitha Maslin, along with performer extraordinaire, opera singer and comic Paul Rowe, extraordinary actor Bruce Denny and live musician, theorbist, Matt Jones.

Facade invites the audience into an imaginary world filled with dance, puppetry and comedy as seen through the kaleidoscopic lens of this internationally acclaimed choreographer.

“The restaging of this work is timely and deeply relevant in contributing to questions about colonial histories, the prevalence of visual culture and the place of the body in society,” said Dr Jo Pollitt, artist, dance scholar, and postdoctoral research fellow, ECU – who has documented Chrissie’s work for the last 10 years.

“Chrissie’s unapologetic risk-taking results in visceral visual poetry that sparks rigorous conversation and keenly embodied experiences for audiences.”

“Restaging this work at this time will enable a new audience to be impacted by a lineage of dance theatre that pitches audacious vaudeville scoring with satire, and humanness with the more-than-human,” said Pollitt.

A five by eight metre Baroque style “proscenium arch” created by Chrissie, clad with up cycled and found objects d’art including 1000 decorated pointe shoes, will fill the downstairs gallery and become the stage that showcases a series of outrageous short, snappy, vignettes.

An exhibition of 15 portraits created by Chrissie Parrott, celebrating performers who have worked closely with her, will adorn the downstairs gallery walls. The installations, costumes and artworks combine to create a “Brutal Baroque” aesthetic perfectly suited to this historic building.

The audience will be coaxed to take a journey and discover one more unique feature of Facade, the Simulacra Lounge upstairs in Gallery 6. Renowned artist Geoffrey Drake-Brockman has created a laboratory filled with curiosities including automata, figurative artworks, and a collection of vintage technological objects.

An extraordinary installation where human dancers perform and interact with a robotic ballerina. This is the culmination of a decade-long association between Chrissie and Geoffrey and their first opportunity to showcase the crossover between their arts practices.

Other collaborators working on Facade include artist and designer Deborah McKendrick, artist Chris Edmund, renowned set builder Janet Carter and milliner Susi Rigg.

Chrissie Parrott AO is a creative artist who works across the disciplines of dance theatre, digital art and decorative design in a career spanning four decades. Chrissie is a 2021 recipient of an Order of Australia.

Brutal Baroque – an exhibition of portraits by Chrissie Parrott
The Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, 46 Henry Street, Fremantle
Exhibition Opening: Friday 10 September 2021 – 6.00pm (Free event – bookings essential)
Exhibition continues to Monday 20 September 2021 (10.00am to 4.00pm)

Facade performance 
The Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, 46 Henry Street, Fremantle
Season: 13 – 20 September 2021 – 7.30pm (doors: 7.00pm)
Bookings: www.trybooking.com

Image: courtesy of Chrissie Parrott AO