Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kind of Blew

Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue.
It’s one of the western world’s most familiar phrases when it comes to weddings and commitment ceremonies, however when an ancient saying like this gets stuck down the pants of a dance collective like 2nd Toe, anything is possible.

“ It’s a great rhyme isn’t it? ", Company Artistic Director Adam Wheeler says,"Old'  is the link to ancestors, to forebears, 'something new' is a no-brainer, 'something borrowed' represents the ties to others, to friendship, to kin. Yes, we got the first three concepts all okay but had absolutely no idea about the fourth; blue. So we decided to start investigating. It seems that blue on a wedding dress represents modesty, fidelity and purity. Things which we pretty much don’t have anymore. “

“Today, we are all sexually free, we have all done something we are not particularly proud of and most of the time, whatever we want, we want it now and we know how to get it. “

“ Yes, it’s true, this work doesn't paint a pretty picture and in devising this piece we looked at desire at its most basic and primal function, we looked at the complexity of desire and the rigmarole of love, the tumult of love, we have examined what feels like the complete lack of importance of tradition.”

Wheeler is not simply hinting at the most candid and messy experiences of dance professionals in his midst, he is touching on the feelings of emerging artists everywhere now, “ and to be honest I think we all need a big hug. We hope that this work will make punters ask themselves questions like, ‘what is it you really want from a relationship in 2010’.”

When it comes to sketching in the backdrop for relationships today Wheeler is adamant, “ Baggage and free porn on the internet is the killer. As twenty-somethings, we can no longer meet innocent people who have not been marked by previous relationships. We have to play the game, say the right things at the right time and hope love finds a way.”

It was Wheeler’s own twenty six birthday party that provided five strangers with the opportunity for becoming friends.

“ I had recently met five new people, recents graduates from VCA who showed a real flare for dancing, art and a good time. I had the idea for producing a birthday event featuring a night of solos and duets about things I always wanted at a birthday party but never had. 

"Together, we put on a show at The Laundry, North Fitzroy, dancers in superhero costumes, leaping out of cakes, fighting in jumping castles, dressed up as giant pin the tail on the donkeys and so on. The show was a huge success and 2ndToe Dance Collective was born.”

This recollection reminds him of another. 

“ And the name 2nd toe is kinda strange just like the collective I guess. It came from the idea that we align our body to the earth in a parallel position, it’s sort of a link between the hips, the knees, and the way we hold the second toe. This anatomical stuff is also the foundation of our genre, and we quite like that people generally find anything about the toes weird or a bit gross. I would like to think this is also a way to describe our work."

" And coincidentally, we run a popular youth program called Toe Jam. Get the idea?”

“Dance is the universal language, no matter what your up bringing is, your past, your future”, Wheeler philosophises , “ You can watch dance and get something from it and whatever you see is alright, is okay and no one can tell you differently. The human body, the way it can move, distort, bend, fly and fall can provoke so many emotions within us. Life is complex, take what you can, read whatever you want.”

Theatre Works
Until Saturday 6 November

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