The humble art of knitting rarely gets a spotlight, but a new performance from one of Australia’s leading dance companies literally puts it on stage.
Dancenorth premiered its production of Wayfinder at the North Australian Festival of Arts in Townsville, where contemporary dance, music and art intertwine.
More than 100 volunteers came together in a series of “knitting sessions” to create the wool set and props, which are incorporated into the choreography.
“Numerous balls of wool were used in the making of this show,” says associate designer Chloe Greaves.
“Wayfinder as work is about finding connection after COVID, and it’s the idea that the people of Townsville’s energy and spirit are literally woven into the work with their fingers.”
The show is a creative collaboration of great proportions.
Wayfinder features the music of Grammy-nominated Melbourne-based band Hiatus Kaiyote and Southern artist Byron Scullin, alongside the colorful artworks of acclaimed Japanese-Australian visual artist Hiromi Tango.
One hundred speaker “orbs” will be scattered throughout the audience, allowing light and music to pulse through the crowd.
“The idea was born after the pandemic and we recognize the fact that there is so much fear and so much fear and so much isolation and distance in the world.
“We wanted to create an offering that really contradicted the experience people have had over the past two years, so this is a gift, it’s a beacon of hope.”
Ms Greaves said the suits are all made from donated and recycled garments and the wool was purchased from stores.
“Everything is second-hand and durable and also has a life already, which is quite exciting because it talks about the journey of work,” she said.
Following its local debut in Townsville, Wayfinder will be showing at the Brisbane Festival in September, and the company plans to tour internationally.
Dancer Marlo Benjamin said the performance was unlike anything she’d participated in before.
“It’s a really nice escape and vision for the future.”