There will be a few surprises for the audience at CreateAbility’s latest performance DENDRON – The Forest in Us.
Instead of sitting and watching, they will be drawn up to the stage and in to the forest with the cast who will explore the rich material turned up by woodlands, including Bendigo’s own Whipstick Forest.
The show has been inspired not just by the woodland which surrounds Bendigo, but also by the folklore and legend of the forest.
Creative producer John Willis described the performance as “poetic”, saying the cast created powerful images as they explore the environmental and social themes.
“It’s really inspired by stories of the forest…. lots of well known folktales and legends include forest and quite extraordinary thing happen in forests,” Mr Willis said.
“It’s a different kind of a show where we’re inviting the audience to travel with us through the show and they get an experience of being immersed in a forest environment.”
CreateAbility is an arts company that gives people with disabilities the opportunity to engage with arts and present their work publicly.
An ensemble of 12 people performs the show, plus two creative co-directors. Other artists such as musicians and costume directors are brought in as they are needed.
Composer Eliza Hull began by taking the cast out for an hour to record the sounds of the forest.
She then laid microphones out for an hour in the bushland.
Using this as a base Ms Hull created an ethereal, experimental soundtrack which responds to the movement of the cast.
During the performance Ms Hull responds to the movement of the cast in her piano music, and in their movement they respond to her.
“What I love about this show is that it’s very much led by the cast,” Ms Hull said.
“I’m also an artist with a disability, so I have a physical disability, and I just feel like it’s empowering.”
CreateAbility will perform Dendron – The Forest in Us at Ulumbarra Theatre on Thursday and Friday November 15 and 16, at 6pm and 8pm.
For more information visit: bendigoregion.com.au/arts-culture-theatres/event/dendron-forest-us-createability
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