Artists: Choreographer: Didier Theron. Dancers: Sue Peacock, Claudia Alessi, Aimee Smith, Sete Tele, Michael Whaites, Matthew Morris
Date: 13 November - 14 November 2009
"Dance can deeply evoke our feelings, speak about our life and change it. Using the word Harakiri as a symbol, I decided to create an imaginary ritual radical, unique and actual body and mind joint in the same aim, connected to a change.
It's an answer to the economic situation of crisis we now have in the world, or to personal points of view on life or to changes we feel coming. It's a call from the dancers to overtake this situation, and opens the future like a rite of spring.
Through time, only dance has this power, only dancers can do this."
Harakiri - a rite
A co-production with Le Théâtre Scène Nationale de Narbonne et La Ville de Mende
Premiered at His Majesty's Theatre, Perth, Western Australia, November 2009
Harakiri is a highly physical and emotive exploration of the Japanese notion of self-sacrifice. This new Australian work features six of Western Australia's finest dance artists; Claudia Alessi, Matthew Morris, Sue Peacock, Sete Tele, Aimee Smith, and Michael Whaites embracing and reinterpreting the movement repertoire of renowned, cutting-edge maker of provocative dance works, the French choreographer Didier Théron.
Harakiri was developed through an extensive series of workshops, creative development projects and collaborative exchange between France and Australia, with the end result being a critically successful, full-length, West Australian contemporary dance work.
The production runs for 60 minutes, hypnotizing the audience as the dancers perform a ritual of collective, compulsory movements. Every now and again, an individual will break free, only to then be reabsorbed in the collective, as they dance to the point of collapse. In the background, the driving sounds composed by Francois Richomme, reverberate and escalate in unison with the choreography. The silent mass does what it has to do; the cycle sweeps everything with it. Harakiri ends like time suspended - a production that is both confronting and challenging yet overwhelmingly poignant.
Talking to the world about life and death
Hara-kiri is, first of all, energy, a jolt through the body
It is the urgency in a scream
Hara-kiri is a word literally meaning cutting the center
Hara-kiri is political
Hara-kiri is traditional
It is a permission
It is approaching death
It is touching life!
"It [Harakiri] challenged its audience politically and viscerally and I loved it...worthy of the major festivals circuit." Margrete Helgeby, reviewer, The West Australian
"His [Didier Theron] idiosyncratic works have a brooding Gallic intensity which challenge and excite both dancers and audiences." Rita Clarke, reviewer, The Australian
Highlight of the Year and Most Outstanding Choreography Rita Clarke, reviewer, The Australian.
Most Significant Dance Event Nina Levy, reviewer, Dance Australia.
- Dance Australia Magazine's Critics Survey 09 -
Donald Becker: Stage and Lighting designer