Beauty and power in Chorus
A massive production two years in the making will reach its stunning and “emotional” climax in Denmark this month.
More than 170 women from the south of WA — including many from Albany and Denmark — will be joined by some of Australia’s leading dance artists in Chorus, an original production led by Annette Carmichael.
They will perform over two nights on the Labour Day long weekend, dancing under the stars, surrounded by forest at Silverstream Wines.
The women are aged 14-70, and for many of them, it will be their first dance performance.
Chorus follows the story of main character Beauty, a winged goddess who is broken and suffering as the show begins.
Solaire, a sun goddess, sends forth the Chorus — a mass of women who bring knowledge, joy, pleasure and persistence, to help Beauty recover.
Though Beauty is at a low point at the start of the show, Chorus has optimism at its core. Carmichael, a choreographer, said it was an exploration of power and its loss and eventual recovery.
It is inspired by feminist poetry, the reclamation of ancient feminist symbols of knowledge, and peace marches by women across the world calling for equality and safety.
Carmichael said the dancers came from different parts of WA, but they had found a common language of movement.
“The quality of their performance is mesmerising,” Carmichael said.
“Audiences will have never experienced a performance quite like this.
“The power of such a massive group of performers is something to witness — it’s quite an emotional experience.”
The show will be performed across multiple levels of the winery’s natural grass atmosphere.
It will feature original music by James Gentle performed live by soprano Bonnie Stadue, violinist Jude Iddison and celloist Marie Limondin.
The performers have been supported by professionals dancers such as ballet dancer Holly Carter, who plays the lead role of Beauty.
US-trained dancer Sumer Addy — the new chief executive of the Denmark Chamber of Commerce — has helped the Albany and Denmark groups.
“We needed a large cast to bring a sense of mass solidarity,” Carmichael said.
“To show that change will happen when we all get involved.
“Violence against women is preventable and we can play our part by calling out sexist language, expecting equality and showing compassion for each other.”
Silverstream Wines has released a special sparkling riesling to honour Chorus.
Gates open at 6pm on Saturday, February 29 and Sunday, March 1. Visit annettecarmichael.com.au.
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