3 November 2016
Intrinsic to White Day Dream is a whimsical set by Jennifer Tran made almost entirely of white plastic shopping bags, in fact the plastic bags extend to the auditorium. They are a marvelous canvas and make great props. Throughout there is a pervading atmosphere of magic realism that owes much to masterfully lighting by Richard Vabre. One feels suspended in a dream that ebbs and flows through a variety of visceral changing realities. Sound design and composition by Dan West adroitly assists the audience to move with the shifting themes. And Media Art by Bambang N Karim enhances with special magic, meanings and vivid colour.
Performers, who are all very obviously finding deep joy and satisfaction in entertaining, are totally focused, and work as a supportive team. ‘Weave Movement Theatre’ members wow the audience with their courage and commitment. Performers in wheelchairs play their parts beautifully and fluidly without self-consciousness. Wonderful combinations of shapes and sizes and abilities are mixed seamlessly to make very moving comments, most memorably, about connection and acceptance. Trevor Dunn mellifluously voices an intriguing poem, of the same name as the shows title, by Anthony Riddell.
The three guest artists are stunning and bring unique artistry. Willow J Conway’s presence is cheeky, jaunty, delightfully wistful and deeply imbued with sincerity. Tim Craft’s dancing is a fluid and pivotal glue. His sinuously twisting extensions are fascinating to watch. Emma J Hawkings charms her audience with her lithe graceful athleticism and engaging warm expressiveness. Yumi Umiumare with her own special brand of Butoh as Director/Chorographer is very even-handed and, I would suggest, liberating for her cast. White Day Dream is at times deeply affecting and moving and often funny and jubilant. There are also contrasting motifs imbued with a sense of pending danger and troubling darkness – a hallmark of Butoh.
In all, it flows and floats like an ambiguous yet affecting dream. Part satirical cabaret, part wacky Russian Ballet, sideshow, mime show and surreal painting – a riveting and gloriously successful show in combining artists who have a wide-ranging variety of abilities with sensitivity and unerring dignity. It is an acutely joyful and affirming work – full of wonder. And yes there is a lot you can do with a white shopping bag.
Don’t miss this one it is a treat!