An ecstatic dance ritual unfolds on the stage, drawing audience and performers together into a unique trance-noise odyssey.
Attractor (2017) is a unique collaboration, co-directed by Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek and commissioned by Dancenorth with Indonesia’s tour-de-force music duo, Senyawa.
Senyawa’s unique fusion of hand-made electrified stringed instruments with opera style and heavy metal voice slowly builds to a euphoric pitch. The exceptional Dancenorth dancers are propelled into wild physical abandonment and ecstatic release, that transmits to the audience as a visceral empathic experience.
The demarcation between dancer and non-dancer, audience and performer, and the professional and the amateur dissolves as the performance transitions into a large-scale dance event.
Senyawa’s performance reinterprets the Javanese tradition of entering trance through dance and music as a powerful, secular present-day form. Their sound borrows from the metal bands they listened to as teenagers—Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden—and Indonesian ritual and folk idioms. Their music and performance is influenced by forces in nature to take the audience into a transformative state outside of organised belief systems.
Attractor won a 2018 Green Room Award for Music Composition and Sound Design (Senyawa) and 2017 Helpmann Awards for Best Choreography in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production (Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek) and Best Dance Production.
Premiered in Melbourne at Asia TOPA in February 2017.
PREMIER SEASON | Asia TOPA 2017
“Watching this work is an electric experience; it is a highly successful collaboration between Australian and international artists that is evenly balanced and rich.”
“As the dancers react to the music, it’s as if they’re compelled, rather than instructed, to move…our eyes drawn to the motion created by choreographers Gideon Obarzanek and Guerin.”
“Attractor is an absorbing whirlwind. It draws the audience in from its first moment…The work is truly an interplay between dancers and audience.”)
Images: Gregory Lorenzutti and Gus Kemp