In a modern age increasingly starved of sincere, deep connection, the world premiere of Dancenorth’s Communal Table serves up sustenance in spades from 18-21 September.
Part-dance performance, part-interactive theatre piece, part-dinner date, Communal Table is a Brisbane Festival commission set to nourish both body and mind.
The genre-busting work is created by acclaimed contemporary dance company Dancenorth and is one of several Brisbane Festival productions programmed in unusual and non-traditional venues.
Dinner, dance and dialogue is served at The Joinery, in inner-Brisbane’s West End, with guests first invited to wander silently through the softly-lit warehouse space. Dancers mingle among them and eventually guide them towards strategically positioned tables.
Over dinner, dancers assume the roles of host, curating and guiding conversation, via written prompts, towards musings on physical activity, movement and dance.
As plates are cleared, tables become stages as Dancenorth’s eight professional dancers perform solos devised by diverse Australian choreographers including Kristina Chan, Thomas E.S. Kelly, Melanie Lane, Jo Lloyd, Gabrielle Nankivell, Kyle Page, Daniel Riley and Lee Serle.
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold said 2019 marked the fourth year in succession Dancenorth had unveiled new work at Brisbane Festival.
“We’ve developed a wonderful creative connection with this brilliant dance company and I’m pleased to see each Brisbane Festival premiere has gone on to tour the world,” Mr Berthold said.
“Communal Table takes a multi-sensory approach to storytelling; it is a very full and rich experience that is shaping up to be Dancenorth’s most delicious production to date.”
Mr Berthold predicted the debut work would entice a diverse assortment of guests to the table.
“Food and wine have long been fundamental tools of social interaction,” Mr Berthold said.
“Communal Table establishes the audience as guests and offers ways for us to connect with and understand each other better, aided by the sharing of four fundamental ingredients: food, wine, conversation and dancing.”
Communal Table is created by Dancenorth Artistic Director Kyle Page and Associate Artistic Director Amber Haines in collaboration with Global Philosopher-In-Chief of The School of Life, John Armstrong.
“Communal Table is the fourth work we have presented in Brisbane Festival in as many years.
The commitment by the Festival to present cutting edge works of art from across the globe is to be commended and we are delighted to present the world premiere of Communal Table with our friends and supporters in Brisbane,” said Mr Page and Ms Haines.
“Communal Table unites four key ingredients, food, conversation, wine and dancing in a multisensorial experience unlike any you have experienced before. We invite you to join us as we bring this work to life!” they said.
The evening begins with guests listening to a short piece written by John Armstrong who also curated the written prompts that serve as conversation starters.
Communal Table is set to a bespoke sound score composed by Kelly Ryall and accentuated by gentle ambient lighting designed by Niklas Pijanti.
In addition to Dancenorth’s eight dancers, ushers and wait staff will work with chefs, designers and directors to ensure a seamless experience.
Communal Table plays at The Joinery, 244 Montague Rd, West End from 18-21 September.
Brisbane Festival opens the doors to 23 days of revelry, revelations and romance from 6 – 28 September 2019. A full program of theatre, music, dance, opera, circus and major public events is available at brisbanefestival.com.au.
The Joinery, 244 Montague Rd, West End