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Photo credit: Prudence Upton

A white canvas, as big and thick as the universe backdrops the performance space, which is dominated by some sort of industrial contraption, a steampunk carbon emitting emblem of the befouling of the atmosphere era that has hastened climate change.

In choreography commensurate with the chaos of climate catastrophe, performers, many wrapped in plastic, battle the elements, back bending in spine snapping wind, a cycle of cyclonic proportion, Goliath gale force setting up a force field that hampers forward movement. It is exhausting and enervating.

Dance movement, mime and the natural crackling of the plastic create a flurry of nature’s fury.

Fury is at the centre of CUT THE SKY. Fury and anger permeate the play.

Anger at the abduction of the land. Anger at the rape of the land. Anger at the patronising, patriarchal pitch of the colonisers, dominating culture and country.

The backdrop canvas is used as a screen on which is projected images of past and present plunder of the earth and cultural subordination.

CUT THE SKY is set in the north of Western Australia, and the narrative follows climate refugees, traditional owners, miners, and natural fauna as they navigate a near-future world of not just a sunburnt country of flooding rains but a planet on the offensive against profligate pillage.

Featuring songs by Ngaiire and Tanya Tagaq, along with sampling from Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi, and the perspectives of dream catcher Edwin Lee Mulligan, Cut the Sky challenges audiences to dream a different future, when the drought of human connection breaks and we can all rejoice in the replenishing rains of reconciliation.

CUT THE SKY is presented by Indigenous intercultural dance theatre company, Marrugeku, and pricks and prods at that famous refrain, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

CUT THE SKY, dancing into your consciousness at Carriageworks, Redfern.


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