What am I supposed to do? (WAISTD) is a large scale participatory work and will be presented by Art Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe Festival for Take Over! September 16th –22nd 2019 in the Fairfax Studio. Staring into our cultural inertia and the hypocrisies of trying to be good in the face of climate crisis, WAISTD is an immersive experience questioning the complexities and complicity of contemporary Australia. Digging into the stasis that holds us back from doing anything, this dark, hopeful and irreverent cautionary tale reminds that now is not the time to sit back and watch.
WAISTD implicates audiences into an immersive performance as set, performers and audience simultaneously. Directed and created live; an environmental horror unfolds through a layered collage of the cultural detritus of colonial Australia, somewhere between mass games, film set and school play. Nobody is a spectator. As set, performer and audience simultaneously, you will find yourself a part a conversation that has been earnestly rehearsed and restaged for the last 40 years.
WAISTD knits together threads from Aiken and Jensen’s body of work, pushing their practise into unknown territory in this new ambitious participatory project.
Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen have a long history of creating experimental choreography and performance in theatres, galleries, community, film, music & site responsive contexts. Their work has been described as formally reckless, slipping between codified forms and unbridled invention. Their freeform style, amasses multiple images in a torrent of references, satirical, sincere, absurd and unapologetic. Since 2010 they have been making experimental choreography, presented in Canada, Italy, France, New Zealand and more locally Dance Massive, Keir Choreographic Awards, Next Wave, Brisbane Festival, Castlemaine State Festival and Dark MOFO. Their ongoing project Deep Soulful Sweats creates collective experiences for audiences to come together in ecstatic, inclusive and unrehearsed performance experiences.
Concept, choreography and performance: Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen/Deep Soulful Sweats
Collaborating performers: Claire Leske, Megan Payne, Alexander Powers, Ngioka Bunda-Health
Mentor/outside eye: Mish Grigor
Design: Romanie Harper
Lighting Design: Amelia Lever Davidson
Sound Design: Andrew Wilson
Photo: Cheryl Ho’s Creative Development at Brunswick Mechanics Institute 2019.