New DanceX cultural festival to premiere in Melbourne in September
Chunky Move art director Antony Hamilton said Hallberg’s appeal was a “breath of fresh air” after a very difficult year and a half.
“He’s pretty visionary,” he says. “We absolutely jumped at the chance to work with them.”
Hamilton said the new Chunky Move commission, AB_TA_Response, “will build a complete world informed by science fiction”, examining the interaction between humans and the machine world with the video design of sound and light assistant Robin Fox and designs by Creature Technology who built animatronics for Broadway King Kong and arena show Walk with dinosaurs.
“It will be very visually stimulating,” said Hamilton.
Hallberg wants DanceX to return in the years to come.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen every year, but I certainly don’t want it to be a one-time event,” he said. “It creates too much momentum.”
The mandate, he said, was simply to “pick whatever repertoire you want and bring it in.” The Australian Ballet commissioned new works from companies that were not used to the big stage at the State Theater. His own company will present a romantic and comedic dance play by Swedish choreographer Johan Inger: I new then, to songs by Van Morrison.
Hallberg’s company was forced by pandemic restrictions to cancel and reschedule two recent seasons in Melbourne: New York dialects and Anna karenina.
On Tuesday, Hallberg spoke candidly with the dance corps about the great financial loss of the cancellations. These came on top of 2020, during which the company lost $ 32 million in ticket revenue, resulting in an operating loss of $ 2.4 million.
But Hallberg said they were continuing and that it made no sense the organization would have to hibernate again.
“Any sort of performance is something that we look forward to at this point,” he said.
“This was the second part of what I wanted to do [with DanceX], to say hey, we are still standing, we are still here, we [dance companies] still support each other. We have weathered the storm and will continue to weather it, as long as it lasts.
His dancers, he said, “are ready and eager to go, whenever we are told we can perform.”
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