Exploring soccer as an art form, SDS1 is a physically charged performance that will visit contemporary performance venues across the country, giving audiences the surreal, visceral and poetic experience of a live football match.
Created and performed by former soccer player Ahilan Ratnamohan, he draws from the sweaty, skilled physicality of ‘the beautiful game’ in a startling, solo dance-inspired work that he describes as a kind of ‘football dance theatre’ with and without a soccer ball, which immerses the audience in the surreal, visceral, momentous and poetic experience of the match.
The third football related performance piece created by Ratnamohan (Michael Essien I want to play as you… and The Football Diaries), SDS1 explores a language not only physical, but theatrical and psychological as well.
Drawing on his personal experiences as a player, Ratnamohan delves into the psyche of the vulnerable warrior of the pitch – striving to be loved and hated, worshipped and scorned, and creates layers of movement, snapshots of a player’s life under the stadium lights.
Through sheer athletic prowess, both with and without the ball, he extracts the essences, emotions and gestures of the game to create a work that sees the player caught in the performance, rather than in control of it. With the audience seated in the round, SDS1 is soccer as theatre: physically charged, stripped back, extracted, frozen, repeated and abstracted – beautiful and ugly at once.
Having performed through Australia, South Africa and Europe, Ratnamohan creates physical performance inspired by sport, film, language and unorthodox forms, and since 2012 has been based in Antwerp, Belgium, where he has developed his working methodology.
After graduating from Film Studies at the University of Technology Sydney in 2005, Ratnamohan attempted a professional football (soccer) career in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany – his experience as a footballer deeply informs the style of work he creates.
In Australia, Ratnamohan has worked with a diverse range of companies and artists including Urban Theatre Projects, Branch Nebula, Legs on the Wall, PACT, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Theatre Kantanka, Martin del Amo and Campbelltown Arts Centre.
Accompanying the national tour, Ahilan will be running workshops across Australia, giving participants the chance to experience this unique blend of sport and contemporary performance.
Creator & Performer: Ahilan Ratnamohan Dramaturge: Kristof Persyn Lighting Designer: Mirabelle Wouters Outside Eye: Lee Wilson Tour Producer: Performing Lines
Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Season: 19 – 22 August 2015
Information and Bookings: www.artshouse.com.au
Waterside, 11 Nile Street, Port Adelaide (presented by Vitalstatistix)
Season: 26 – 29 August 2015
Information and Bookings: www.vitalstatistix.com.au
Blacktown Arts Centre, Sydney (presented by Performance Space)
Season: 2 – 6 September 2015
Information and Bookings: www.performancespace.com.au
Salamanca Arts Centre, Tasmania
Season: 17 – 20 September 2015
Information and Bookings: www.salarts.org.au
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth
Season: 23 – 26 September 2015
Information and Bookings: www.pica.org.au
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah
Season: 29 September – 1 October 2015
Information and Bookings: www.manpac.com.au
Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst
Season: 20 – 22 October 2015
Information and Bookings: www.bmec.com.au
For more information, visit: www.performinglines.org.au for details.
Image: Ahilan Ratnamohan – photo by Olympe Tits