It's in the bones

RealTime: Antistatic 99 intro

Ishmael Houston-Jones, Without Hope

Ishmael Houston-Jones, Without Hope

Ishmael Houston-Jones, Without Hope

antistatic 99…on the bone put on substantial flesh (the programs were labelled Femur, Clavicle, Axis, Atlas and, interestingly for the contemporary performance component, Spur) over its 3 weeks with performances, installations, talks and workshops, bringing a welcome intensity and added intelligence to the Sydney dance scene. Guests from the USA and Melbourne added bodies and dance cultures in perspective. As you’ll read, a few observers and participants thought antistatic’s focus somewhat narrow, ‘homogenous’, lacking in ethnic and aesthetic diversity. In the case of Ishmael Houston-Jones’ querying the cultural breadth of the event, he applies the word festival, which in fact might not fit the event model of antistatic with its focus on very particular dance issues, forms and, inherently, independents and their innovations (as opposed to, say, MAP’s deliberate coverall approach in Melbourne in 1998). For all of its probing, essentialist leanings, antistatic nonetheless displayed some remarkable hybrids, artist and reviewer anxiety over text spoken in performance was much less in evidence than a couple of years ago, and collaborations with composers and lighting designers had clearly made considerable progress with greater integration and dynamic counterpointing of roles. antistatic might not have been a festival in the conventional sense, but it certainly was a feast. Appropriately, one of its highlights was an on-the-floor meal and discussion shared by performers and audience on the penultimate evening of an intimate and open dance event.

RealTime issue #31 June-July 1999 pg. 10

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1 June 1999