Trybe – An Opera in Paint

Trybe – An Opera in Paint
By Anthony Breslin. Chapel off Chapel (Vic). 14 – 24 March, 2013

Trybe – An Opera in Paint is a 65 minute assault of the senses. Using a mixture of eclectic music, drawing, painting, multi-media, technology and dancing, directors Anthony Breslin and Stephen Agisilaoudrag the audience into the strange imagination of a visual artist, with the intent of revealing the artistic process.  

The piece begins with three musicians with faces painted like creepy skulls, playing guitar on a stage overlooking a graffiti strewn pen. Within the pen, the artist sketches a chalk outline of a face, which is projected on to a screen behind the musicians as he works. Slowly, six dancers make their way separately into the pen, each one carrying a tin of paint (in different colours). The artist and dancers splash the paint on each other and the floor, using their bodies as brushes and making the chalk outline become more and more vibrant as the performance progresses, to the point where the painted face is almost grotesque. After each solo is performed, the dancers become part of the painting, with their own bodies painted; gently twitching on the floor so the projection of the face onscreen seems alive and vibrating.

There are some elements of the performance that seem overly drawn out and laborious, but as the piece progressed I liked it more and more, especially the frenzied painting and dancing as the music escalated into a mad fusion of rock and electronic and the painted face became more garish.

Astrid Lawton 

Image: Suzanne Opitz

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