Garry Stewart Australian Dance Theatre





Birdbrain is Garry Stewart’s first full length work for ADT and a wild foray into the style of dance that he brings to the company. Drawing on elements of classical ballet, contemporary dance, breakdance, yoga and gymnastics, as well as video art and electronic music, Stewart has created a piece that cross examines the grande dame of classical ballet, Swan Lake, turning the narrative completely on its head.

‘Everyone knows something about Swan Lake. It’s an icon that pervades our culture from the Opera House to the football club,’ says Garry. ‘In this ‘version’ I’ve focussed more on the interstices of the narrative: the action of the lovers throwing themselves across the space into the lake, and the moment of metamorphosis when the swans bodies buckle and contort back into being women again.’ First performed at the 2000 Adelaide Festival, Birdbrain quickly became a 'hot ticket' of the Festival, with its blend of stunning soundscapes, surreal video art and virtuosic dance. Birdbrain has gone on to delight audiences around Australia and the world with its combination of remarkably acrobatic choreography and perceptive references to Swan Lake. A remarkable work, Birdbrain looks past the traditional exposition of Swan Lake and reveals the structure behind the façade. Characterisation, gender, and even the set are portrayed as interchangeable elements in a work that challenges the senses and the sensibilities of audiences.


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