Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No Cold Feet



De Quincey Co and Art and About Sydney 2011 presents NO COLD FEET at Cathedral Square and Cook & Phillip Park.

Tess De Qunicey has collected a group of her movement apostles/practitioners (Body Weather): Peter Fraser, Linda Luke, Vicki Van Hout, Kathryn Puie, Katina Olsen, Mark Hill, Kirsty Kiloh and Gideon Payten-Griffiths and together with a Sound Design by Barbara Clare and Steve Toulmin and Lighting by Rachel Smith  has created a site specific work: NO COLD FEET at the St Mary's Cathedral Square and the adjoining Cook & Phillip Park.

At dusk, so that the work begins in twilight and finishes in the early night of a Sydney spring (promisingly seasonally spectacular), the company of dancers dressed in light flowing fitted cloaks, robust white breast plates and shoes of either sex (e.g. Boots and heels on either foot, Costumes by Albert Baldwin, holding flexible poles move in procession through the gathered audience and climb onto the steps of the Cathedral entrance. At this end of the space and performance we have the symbol of the world of spirituality as backdrop, and then through the  pool, fountain and board-walk,  we continue to the fa├žade of the Sydney Museum, science, as the backdrop for the other end of the activity, ultimately descending into the Cook and Phillip Park, into nature., disappearing, enveloped by the brush and flora of the gathering night.

 The idiosyncratic movements of the dancers, collective and solo, supported by the music landscape of quite a wide variety of style featuring whale sounds (the whale being the indigenous totem of this area) interacts with the promenading audience. Children, adults, passing tourists with cameras and personal video capture, an early  spring "Dream". The effect of the work is in the visceral contact with the performers and in the stunning beauty of the outdoor site. Breathtakingly comforting. The heavy urban backdrop of the far buildings and the mechanistic sounds of the roadways fade into oblivion with the invitation by De Qunicey to experience our world anew. It will be hard to walk through these sites without the imprint of this magical world haunting it, next time we are there.

This kind of 'magic' appearing, seemingly spontaneously, in the environs of the city creates a wonder and a set of memories that will be kept as fond treasures of the city of Sydney by all of us who attended. For those of us that came on purpose it had the expected quality of the usual uniqueness of Ms De Quincey's work which we seek out eagerly. But the wonder seen on the faces of the accidental passing and collected viewers was a positive advantage of the performance to share and can only enhance the mystique of the City of Sydney.

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