Of The Land On Which We Meet

Of The Land On Which We Meet
Devised by Harley Mann, Isabelle Champagne-Chittick, Manelaya kaydos-Nitis, Margot Mansfield, Emily Loe, Johnathon Brown. Directed by Harley Mann. Presented by Na Djinang Circus. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Meat Market - Cobblestone Pavilion, 3 Blackwood St, North Melbourne, 12 - 15 October 2023.

This performance is an awe-inspiring and deeply moving experience. Isabelle Champagne-Chittick, Manelaya Kaydos-Nitis, Johnathon Brown weave together acrobatics, contemporary dance, and aerial performance to consider the meaning of walking on country. This is explored not only from an Indigenous cultural perspective but also from other Australian multicultural heritage. This means the show also asks broader questions about connection to country and culture.

The mixture of movement styles is designed with a rhythm which gently increases over the course of the show. It sometimes has an extremely gentle and soothing dynamic which is occasionally juxtaposed with a strong or violent dynamic. The show gradually builds to a crescendo of aerial performance which literally takes your breath away. The set, the costume, sound and the lighting are all thought out in a meticulous manner, capturing the arid Australian landscape and its beautiful earth tones. This all helps to create an aura of mystery and grandeur.

The performers take time to speak of their own personal connection to country. They recount anecdotes in a direct and delicate manner, giving the show a rare sense of intimacy with the audience. The rapport between the performers is also extraordinary. The show accentuates the connection between people, land and space and is much more than the three individuals. The performance creates the image of an organic whole and the synchronicity of being together.  

This is a show which makes bold and important statements about our relationship with country using eloquence in every aspect of the show. This results in a superb and sublime theatrical event.

Patricia Di Risio 

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