The night begins with a homophone. With a playful swap of the knowing word ‘knew’ for a word that sounds the same when you speak or read it, but which now conjures up things shiny and in the present: ‘new.’ Johan Inger’s high-spirited, wistful memory, “I New Then” premiered in 2012, but it looks back further still, to what we now know was a ‘new’ time, one “that was both pure and simple but with the distinct challenges of becoming an adult.”[note]Johan Inger, “I New Then” choreographer’s statement, https://www.johaninger.com/#/i-new-then, accessed October 21, 2022.[/note] With an invitation to “walk and talk in gardens all misty and wet with rain,” plucked from Van Morrison’s Sweet Things, this seems the best place to begin The Australian Ballet’s three-part festival DanceX. With honesty. With new explorations that can only be expressed through understanding and expertise. In the moment, before it passes.
Bangarra perform “Terrain” by Frances Rings. Photograph by Kate Longley