Welcome to the second last episode of season 3! To ensure season 4 is created please contribute to our fundraiser today. Link on all our social media. It’s been 2 months since our last episode and A LOT has happened. We had a win at the Australian Podcast Awards and talk about it. Jasmine Moseley of the The Australian Ballet joins us for Intermission and Coming Soon – featuring the Head On Photo Festival and virtual reality in Canberra. This month’s shows discussed are De Stroyed by Jillian Murray and Suzanne Chaundy Director at fortyfivedownstairs and The House of Bernarda Alba – an Australian reimagining of the Federico Garcia Lorca play, by Patricia Cornelius and Leticia Ines Caceres at Melbourne Theatre Company.
Philip: Hello and welcome to the 35th episode of Across the Aisle. I’m Phillip Thiel and I’m joined in the studio as always by my friend and fellow prize winner Carla Donnelly.
Carla: Thank you. Congratulations to you too and Ron three.
Philip: Nice award. Carla shared congratulations on our big win in the Arts and Entertainment category of the Australian Podcast Awards. What a surreal sparkly fabulous and heartening night it was.
Carla: All the more sparkling for you my dear with your blue sequined tuxedo jacket.
Philip: Yaas I took the sparkle literally. Excitingly we’re also joined in the studio by a special guest who will join us at intermission. More about that soon. But yeah we want to thank our producer Ron and all our friends and supporters for their role in this achievement, including you dear listeners. And in related news it’s time for us to pitch our fourth season. We would dearly love to maintain and expand this project into a fourth year. And we’d love your participation. We’re seeking funding to critically engage in another year’s worth of culture and to bring you a well-produced and thought provoking podcast each and every month. Right now we’re asking you to join a community of likeminded subscribers who pay for the pleasure of hearing this show. These generous people already get top secret communiques about the shows we’re going to cover and regular polished correspondence about events and productions that we recommend. Better still, we’ve been permitted to raise funds through the Australian Cultural Fund. The good news for you dear Australian listeners is that your generous tip to our show is fully tax deductible. That’s right. It’s a choice between transport infrastructure and arts criticism.
Philip: And we endorse your choice to redirect your hard earned cash our way to see our social media’s for details. And thank you so much in advance for your support. We see you love you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. That said let’s head to the theatre.
Carla: Finally, Jesus.
Philip: At last! Lights! In this episode we’re going to consider a couple of updates some revisiting of the past, some adaptations and some listening to past voices. We’re going to hear the legacy of Simon de Beauvoir in De-stroyed at fortyfivedownstairs. Then we’ll head downstairs again to Fairfax theatre at the Arts Centre for the House of Bernada Alba, produced by Melbourne Theatre Company our trip to this show was sponsored by Julian Leyre, a dear friend and lover of the podcast. He selected the production on our behalf as part of our season 3 crowdfunding campaign. Merci Juju! So during this episode’s intermission we’re going to be hanging out with Jasmine Mosley who is our very special intermission guests. So much exciting business Carla. But let’s dive into De-Stroyed.
Carla: Simone de Beauvoir was a ground-breaking French feminist who caused seismic shifts in attitude and inspired a whole generation of women to strive for personal freedom and fulfilment. De-stroyed celebrates de Beauvoir’s singular brilliance and explodes tensions and pressure points created by leading a daring and unconventional life. Using only de Beauvoir as words it scrutinizes with searing intelligence humour and pathos what it means to love, the nature of romance and our common fate. It opens the window on a view of where feminism began with a capital F and questions by implication how far have we really come. So that’s the intro by the producers of the production, so Gillian Murray and Suzanne Chaundy. Suzanne is actually a legend in the theatre scene having had her own theatre company in the 70’s I think in Melbourne. It’s a history that I want to explore a little bit more. Simone de Beauvoir has a particular resonance with me I guess because I have the same birthday.
Carla: And I’ve been quite obsessed with her for a long time. I knew about her before I was really a feminist in completion. You know what I mean like I think I was oh everyone’s always born a feminist. I think, well most people but I didn’t even read her readings as someone on a feminist quest.
Philip: I see.
Carla: I read her readings as someone who was had the same birthday as me and I was in incredibly intrigued by this woman and I particularly came to her in terms of existentialism rather than feminism because her and her husband Jean Paul Satre were the founders of existentialism.
Carla: So that’s how I came to her work and that’s why I chose this show. Another one woman show.
Carla: Which is so weird.
Philip: Keep em coming.
Carla: But maybe you know she doth protest too much. Like maybe I do secretly love one people shows and I’m trying to find my path there. So this was an incredibly beautiful show composed of snippets from her fictional and non-fictional work primarily it’s loosely based on an aging timeline though centered around middle age to beginning of elderly life. And that’s I think really where the real meat of life comes from doesn’t it?
Carla: It’s not really when you’re looking ahead it’s when you’re looking behind and there’s really heartbreaking sentiment here in terms of you know so the person who is responsible for bringing the Second Sex into the world the you know the most seminal feminist text and hearing her own words about trying to relate her life to her academic mind in the way that she feels life should be and I think that is still a struggle for feminists today as you know we have an academic or an intellectual or even a spiritual understanding of how we should be all equal and how that creates a tension against real life. But I found that particularly heartbreaking to hear those words coming from her. How she tried to rationalize being in love with a man who refused to be monogamous to her and her trying to wrestle with that even though she wasn’t sure it was monogamy that she wanted. And how that rubbed up against her feminism and her parentage. What did you think of this?
Philip: It’s so helpful for me to be listening to you because you make me realize what had only started sensing which is that that’s exactly what this play offers us. It’s a kind of humanizing of a legend. You know some Simone de Beauvoir resonates as a name as a concept as the Left Bank of Paris. You know as cafe life as Bohemia and here she is being daily being embodied and the casting was just perfect. I mean Gillian Murray is at that pitch perfect moment to be telling this particular story when she says lines like “I had a shattering revelation. Time goes by.” You know she has the body and the gravitas to sort of bring that. And what a bravura performance. I mean speaking of one woman shows it means you have to remember everything. And you know for so long and then somebody’s phone rings and somebody walks out dramatic.
Carla: Oh my god don’t.
Philip: And you’ve got to just handle that and be Simone.
Philip: It’s almost like a meditative practice.
Carla: Well Simone would have gone on.
Carla: Two men walking out of a performance would not have rattled her.
Philip: Absolutely. And what I had noted down already was that there was something that I brought to the production about what I wanted from it that was sort of against the grain of what was being delivered. So it’s taken some time to process the show and see what I was given at this show.
Carla: Yeah that’s really interesting.
Philip: Probably because I actually would have superficially preferred more hero worship. You know I wanted some Simone, Simone, Simone just like with other 20th century figures I’m thinking of Virginia Wolf for example. It’s always a bit problematic to me to have her humanized because her iconic status matters to me as well. And this was against iconography you know it was about something that feels past and feels like it once was present and in fact I thought that some of the moments from the script were almost unbearably kind of twee. I mean here is Simone de Beauvoir talking about buying scales and going on a diet. I’m like noooo Simone stay statuesque you know stay heroic stay a surname. But talking with you now and reflecting on the show I realize, well what I’m learning through this production is about the humanity of this person and the emotional truth for this person.
Carla: Well it’s people that create and it’s still always humans that create these things and I’m so interested and glad that you said that because I think that that would be the thing that most of the people that came to see that show would have as an icon image in their mind a titanium woman and almost like an idol in terms of the expectation that their life would be unswervingly ideological in terms of what they’d produce into the world.
Carla: But that’s the irony of these sorts of things is because she was so fragile because she was so human because she was so emotional and felt things so deeply that she was able to question life in that way and produce the work that she did. I mean it is a testament to her strength that she was able to endure, writing about these things and being in that position very unflinchingly you know writing the script of her life. And you know being in second place.
Carla: You know she was second place Jean Paul Sartre in her class in university, always being second place. But she really you know she made lemonade and birthed something into the world that shaped, shaped the world. But it was still not without feminine scruples.
Philip: Indeed and,
Carla: For lack of a better term.
Philip: well and feminine in that way that is about a century old too. So some of the stuff that I was hearing as a little bit playschool was in a way just aged, right? So these people when you make them into legends and heroes take on a kind of timelessness and so they’re oldness surprises you, or us. Right? So little phrases when she would say things like “you haven’t changed a whisker” I mean of course this is all translation as well from the French, nonetheless, again like Virginia Woolf like these people don’t sound like contemporary feminists because they’re not contemporary.
Philip: And I mean I’m just having this basic realisation.
Carla: Or English speakers they’re being translated from the native languages for which I’m sure loses.
Carla: Some sort of panache or dexterity.
Philip: Yeah but I love your idea about how it is the fact of the humanity of someone like this including their gender and the historical context and their movement within that context that allows for them to ultimately become these heroic figures who sort of shaped the politics and identity of so many others.
Carla: Well she is Jean de Arc. She is rallying… She is 100 years ahead of her time existing in a space that cannot accommodate her.
Carla: She spends every day of her life trying to diminish herself to live within a sphere that can contain her. And of course she was filled with rage. And I find that she was able to survive and thrive to be the miracle.
Carla: You know. And she just continued to produce work and put it out into the world. I think this was actually specifically poignant because not only of course of women of Gillian and Susan’s age that she would be a prolific presence in terms of their second wave probably feminist education. Later in Simone de Beauvoir life she was very passionate about writing about the elderly. So she saw them as then again the second class citizens of the world and most of her work in her later life was about the treatment of the elderly by society. So I think taking this work from this period of her life of reflection not only has that poignancy that we have as humans when we’re looking behind but also was a really great reflection of where her work sits. Her work sits and in the marginalized, right. It ended up being about feminism because it was about her and her life and that period of time but really her work is about the marginalized and I think that is what came through in this performance for me.
Philip: I’m so glad to know who you are Carla. Welcome back Simone.
Philip: It’s in intermission! Oh look it’s Jasmine Mosley.
Philip: Welcome back!
Jasmine: Thank you.
Carla: Can we get you a drink?
Jasmine: Oh yes please.
Carla: What would you like, a Bellini?
Jasmine: Oh that’s quite elegant.
Philip: I wonder something Left Bank theme like really a short espresso.
Carla: Yeah ok a ristretto
Philip: And not too tasty. Paris coffee.
Carla: All right, done.
Jasmine: Well I’m so glad I run into you.
Carla: Yeah thank you.
Philip: We need to hear everything.
Carla: Yes. What’s going on in jazz land?
Jasmine: Well that’s a lot. I’ve been around you know.
Carla: It’s our ’round the way you girl.
Philip: You’ve been traveling as always in your glamorous ballet life.
Jasmine: I have. I have.
Philip: How was the Sydney season?
Jasmine: Sydney was fabulous. Unseasonably warm very sunny and lovely. And it was. Yeah it was a long time up there but very busy like lots of wonderful things going on. One of my favourite festivals the Head On photo festival.
Carla: Oh wow I haven’t heard of it. Tell me about it.
Jasmine: It’s incredible. It’s largely Oh I think it’s almost all free and it’s all over the city and in many different places Paddington, Town Hall, um outside the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Philip: And is a portrait.
Carla: Yeah that’s how I was going to ask, nature, anything? All forms?
Jasmine: All forms.
Carla: OK. Wonderful.
Jasmine: Yeah. There’s even this wonderful in Paddington there’s a reservoir gardens. So it’s sort of this sunken garden and they have installations in there. So that was really cool.
Jasmine: But I love it and I go every year because I’m always there at that time of year.
Carla: Who knew, Sydney?
Jasmine: Now you know.
Philip: Have you been at the theatre or the cinemaaaa?
Jasmine: Well I as always I’m very omnivorous.
Philip: Oh good.
Carla: Oh yes. We like that.
Philip: Feed me.
Jasmine: I like it. Yes. Feed me feed my eyes and my ears everything. I guess I always tend to lean towards the visual arts somehow.
Philip: Mm hmm.
Jasmine: So after Sydney I went to Canberra and I experience some virtual reality.
Philip: I hate it.
Carla: So apparently it really affects women a lot more than men.
Carla: Yeah. Because I’m studying psychology we’re really sort of honing in on what kind of gender differentials there are in any way. And it’s very extremely very little but they have found in virtual reality. Yeah. Women get really motion sickness much more than men. So how did it how did it affect you?
Jasmine: Well I’m quite good with that. I was with my mum and it was her first virtual reality experience.
Jasmine: She gets a bit of vertigo.
Carla: Yeah yeah.
Jasmine: So there was some moments where you know it was what do they call those things you put on your eyes you just go go on goggles on goggles off goggles on.
Philip: Oh god.
Jasmine: “Oh Jazz put this one on”. But it was I loved it. It was like going back into a 90s. This particular installation had all these different…
Philip: Is this National gallery?
Philip: Yes. National Gallery of Australia.
Jasmine: I love it there.
Philip: So prestigious.
Carla: Yeah it’s amazing.
Jasmine: So much going on.
Philip: It feels like an extension of the high court. You know it’s just sort of all very federal. I just feel so flamboyant when I’m in Canberra.
Jasmine: Yeah. And it’s very democratic, there’s a lot there.
Philip: Yes it’s idealistic. I mean Burley Griffin you know visionary, visionary stuff is going on.
Carla: And witch craft which but we can talk about that at another point.
Jasmine: Well this was this was really interesting this was virtual reality experience was something called Terminus which was an artwork by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward and it was all very it had that 90s graphic computer feel quite abstract and so you feel like you’re on a little bit of a roller coaster inside of a very abstract world with lots of sort of pink bodies flying around you, flying wombs.
Carla: Could you interact with that or you just kind of it was more like a ride.
Jasmine: No, yes you had to stand on a thing and look at a thing that started it and someone would flip and you’d be in there oh things would happen you know in walkways would sink beneath you.
Carla: Oh my God that sounds scary. I don’t want to do it.
Philip: It sounds like a prisoner of war experience.
Jasmine: Well I loved it!
Jasmine: And then I went… When I arrived back in Melbourne last week I went to Doctor Sketchies Anti Art School I could go and sketch this amazing comic, a stripper comic called Chase Paradise
Carla: Is that is that a man or a woman or a binary person.
Jasmine: Oh a woman.
Jasmine: But you know a really fabulous wit and attitude on stage and that was super fun. You know in the flesh experience rather than virtual.
Jasmine: But a different world, a different world.
Philip: You are so from the future. I look forward to evolving into where you’re at right now.
Carla: I love the combination of those two things because I think nudity and sex is really funny you know. I think it’s like you should really have a sense of humour about it everyone takes this stuff way too seriously. So I love that nexus you know.
Philip: Nudity in the theatre is always presented deadpan is it?
Carla: I know.
Philip: So earnest.
Carla: And I knew when I’d found like the one with my partner on when I was like laughing during sex and he’s like ha ha.
Jasmine: It is it’s great. I mean it’s funny sometimes.
Philip: I just briefly mentioned going down at Malthouse because I’m speaking a funny nudity funny nudity.
Carla: Really it’s got funny nudity?
Philip: It had funny noises and funny sex and fun sex and silly sex.
Carla: We take it all too seriously.
Philip: Yeah yeah yeah.
Jasmine: Just enjoy it. I mean I’m having a Bellini.
Carla: Yeah exactly. Yeah. Sorry I’ve had too many.
Philip: My ristretto was done minutes ago.
Carla: Do you have any… Give us a hot tip. I don’t know something tell us something. Some just one more thing amazing before we have to go in.
Jasmine: Oh something coming soon?
Philip: Oh no that’s for coming soon
Carla: Oh yes! We’ll be bringing her back.
Philip: Yeah. That’s right. Spontaneous.
Carla: Oh I’ve got to go anyway.
Philip: Oh theatre time.
Jasmine: I’m just gonna have another Bellini.
Philip: Okay it’s time for the House of Bernada Alba by Melbourne Theatre Company. Second time in a little while but we’ve been into this most prestigious companies spaces and this is an adaptation, after Federico Garcia Lorca by Patricia Cornelius the program says “with their mining mogul father dead the Alba household is in mourning. All four daughters have been called home by their matriarch mother to pay their respects and bunker down in the family home. The future seems wildly uncertain for all but the eldest sister who has inherited a fortune and is engaged to the local heartthrob. But as tensions rise and tempers flare. Will any of them have the power to alter their destiny”? So renowned playwright Patricia Cornelius takes Lorca’s classic tragedy out of the villages of Spain and into the heart of rural Western Australia to explore themes of passion repression and isolation. In an exhilarating adaptation directed by Leticia Caceres. And indeed it has a powerhouse cast including Candy Bowers, Peter Brady, Julie Forsyth, Betsy Holland, Sue Jones, Emily Milledge and Melita Jurisic who stars as the farm family matriarch. I wanted to read the names of those actors because I hadn’t known that the original version of this play is the first play, according to the program, written only for women actors. So there’s something…
Carla: A play with no men.
Philip: That’s right. Yeah there’s something really palpable about that gendered nature of the production. And one of the characters in fact it’s the comic sort of maid figure Penelope who says girls get feisty without men and the sense of male absence is scrumptious here. I mean one of them is dead another one of them is sort of prowling around the margins of the house and in fact his singlet is sort of empty item of clothing appears at one point in the in the play. But yeah you’ve got this sense of all right. What’s gonna happen now when it’s just us when it’s just the sisters the mother and the maid. Oh sorry I had forgotten the grandmother who’s locked up in some kind of outhouse. But locking up is what this is all about. So I’m fascinated by the fact that the original play had a kind of eight yearlong gothic horror component to it. You know let’s go into serious.
Carla: Deep Spanish Catholicism.
Philip: YES. Whereas this one in something that I think matches the tone of this production went for something a little more wry. Cornelius has updated the time frame to be you know eight weeks.
Philip: And that for these you know teenage sisters is just hell. You know they Mum insists that they’re gonna turn the internet off. So there is a modernization a lightening of tone and a different kind of imprisonment something that becomes somehow more metaphorical and starts to offer a commentary about how prison might be the best way to imagine what life is like for all of these people even when they leave the home right?
Carla: It’s almost as if to you mean that the patriarchy is a prison for women Philip?
Philip: Oh my God! Revelation! But in a way I mean it was symbolic here rather than literal and yet.
Carla: It was literal as well.
Philip: Thank you. Yeah of course of course but by symbolic I mean that the space actually looked like there was this constant self-enclosing.
Philip: You know you could go to the front door and yet they would always come back from that door retreating and re retreating and re burying themselves over and over again. What’s your take?
Carla: Gosh I mean there’s lots to talk about. I think this is like air quotes “an important work” for the MTC to commission particularly thinking of Patricia Cornelius to do it. I’ve talked about this before on the podcast but I think she’s brilliant and I think she’s actually the best contemporary playwright we have in this country. And I just want her to be commissioned major works all the time. I found out about Patricia that she founded the Melbourne Workers Theatre.
Carla: Back in the day. And she’s also done a lot of work with Christos Tsiolkas and everything so she’s a Marxist which is why I love her. So you know I mean it’s quite obvious all of her work is about capitalism. A lot of it and the intersection of feminism, patriarchy to capitalism. So I love her and I actually really love her writing skills. Her writing skills are absolutely phenomenal and I look honestly I didn’t particularly feel taken by this play in any way shape or form but I think she did an absolutely incredible modernization of this text particularly an Australian-ised version of this.
Carla: There’s some hilarious dialogue in it. It’s quite ocker but believable and I think setting it in a mining town is actually quite poignant as well because there is the spectre of capitalism surrounding this as well.
Philip: And inheritance.
Carla: And inheritance and men owning all the money you know and when you own all the money you own all the women and you own everything surrounding it.
Philip: And as soon as there’s a rich woman the men descend.
Carla: Yes there the carrion birds come to get what’s theirs.
Philip: That’s right. That’s right.
Carla: I thought the set was brilliant Marg Horwell is just she’s absolutely fantastic it sort of was like a… Almost pallets, it’s sort of like you know like an outback house. Yeah the sun shining through those getting that light through the pallet gaps but then also like this wonderful sculpture of like a chandelier of flies zappers and a wall full of air conditioners again and the set was wonderful the performances were astounding.
Philip: I’m just thinking about Candy Bowers and the fan.
Carla: Oh my God. Candy Bowers. She is remarkable.
Carla: I have seen Candy and a lot of things but this is really outside of her wheelhouse of what she usually does and to see her as a dramatic comedic actor. She’s phenomenal.
Philip: And I love the chorus like pairing of her with Bessie Holland.
Philip: Commentating sisters, salaciously observing from the sidelines. So funny. So enjoyable.
Carla: Yes so, like I think on this show a lot of value that we bring is that where we’re pretty newbie in terms of not really knowing a lot of the greats or you know maybe more obscure greats.
Philip: Trust Julien to send us to this. His education.
Carla: I haven’t encountered Lorca’s work before. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know whether this kind of would have any attention or not but I think I think it’s incredibly worthwhile. I’m really glad that the MTC programmed this.
Carla: And just it was just thrilling to see six women on stage all you know half of the cast were you know quite older women and you know the other half like you know varying sizes fat women, brown women. That was thrilling to me.
Philip: Yeah. Yeah. One element of the adaptation into this West Australian space and one that Cornelius takes really seriously is the opportunity to think about Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians as visible and invisible onstage offstage. This figure of Rosie who is not one of the characters but one of the figures around town haunts this play in an intriguing way. I mean she’s the woman that the men go to and seek out and essentially rape and her name and her body become metaphorical while remaining really true in the way that is described by these different characters.
Carla: And I thought that was pleasing that Cornelius has done whatever it took to get that haunting into the sort of buy into this production and that’s true skill because really it’s taken this sort of Gothic Spanish Catholic play about patriarchy in turns. And it’s very deftly turned it into a parable or a metaphor for imperialism driven by men.
Carla: You know and where that has entered Australia and that’s what I think really makes it super contemporary. But then there’s really pointed dialogue about say Rosie someone said where somebody says “where’s she from”. And the other person says “Oh it’s too hard to pronounce”.
Carla: You know and then we. You immediately get invocations of you know like the recent new train stations for Melbourne and people like oh put them as Aboriginal names and the uproar that it caused. So there was lots of little threads in there that really pinged my brain in a painful way.
Philip: Yeah. And how fascinating that adaptation can do that.
Philip: But as you rightly hint only when done by someone like Cornelius you know she she’s done something far beyond an update here.
Philip: It’s sort of a re embedding it’s an update in terms of time but also place and not in a way that makes us all in Melbourne sort of mock West Australians either. You know this is a national story that keeps resonating for us now as audiences of the Melbourne Theatre Company.
Carla: Yeah. You went to opening night what was what was the crowd like how did they respond to it, out of curiosity.
Philip: The first thing I overheard on the way out from behind me, so this person can now be anonymous Opening night MTC voice representative was, “That wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs wasn’t it”. Oh no he said “that wasn’t exactly a laugh a minute was it”.
Carla: Oh my God.
Philip: So that’s what it was like.
Carla: And that’s you know and I keep referring to this as an important work because I think it really is. But at the same time it’s you know my criticism that I’ve heard about a lot of the major institutions it’s like when they commission women’s work quote unquote it becomes quote unquote women’s work. So it’s like depressing plays about people killing themselves because of rape or the patriarchy. Usually there’s no older women on stage at all so that’s why this does have a lot of difference. You know, it has commissioned a lot of older women to be in. But still it’s sort of like if I was put my you know regular MTC men hat punter on be like “oh well you know I don’t like women’s plays because you know depressing”.
Carla: So I don’t I like I think this is an important step forward.
Philip: And it gave I mean to go back to the mood on opening night. I think the mood was respect for performance.
Carla: Yeah good.
Philip: I think that people were responding really palpably to in particular the performance of Melita Jurisic as the matriarch.
Carla: She was unbelievable.
Philip: But the sort of show stopping open up from Julie Forsyth also really hit a hit. Well you know I got lots of laugh.
Carla: Eating the sausage.
Philip: I mean the way she sort of stares, she opens it making I think Cornelius wanted to just sort of put her signature on it from the start I mean this is the woman who wrote Shit.
Carla: Oh yeah.
Philip: And she just wanted to get all of the curse words in there to make it clear that this is not gonna be a reverential play from another place and time.
Philip: And that was effective and exciting.
Carla: Yeah. Hold onto your wigs. Thanks Juju for sending us to this, it gave me a lot to think about.
Philip: Okay coming soon. Come back Jazz,
Carla: Jasmine right now.
Philip: Tell our listeners. What to do.
Philip: Well as I am often immersed in the ballet world I try to tell you what’s happening.
Jasmine: I mean you can have Veuve with Verve.
Jasmine: Yeah but this is Verve.
Carla: You guys have missed a marketing opportunity. You can have that one for free.
Jasmine: I’ll put that in my pocket.
Philip: What is Verve?
Jasmine: So it’s a fabulous mixed bill. So one of the things I love the most about seeing a triple bill as we call it is that you get to say three distinct different works. And so it’s a really interesting representation of what the Australian Ballet’s is doing because it’s two works by our resident choreographers Tim Harper and Stephen Baines and a commissioned work from it. Female choreographer Alice Topp.
Philip: Alice. Glass ceilings smashed.
Jasmine: Well it’s interesting because you were talking about commissioning women and I thought yeah it’s going to be fabulous. So Constant Variance by Stephen Baines, Filigree and Shadow by Tim Harper and Aurum by Alice Topp.
Philip: And do they all really edgy flighty zapping sort of things.
Jasmine: Well it’ll be interesting to know because some I’ve seen some have not. But it is you know contemporary it is something it’s you know pushing the limits of Ballet.
Philip: It sounds like the kind of show that we should get along to. And I way I mean the people listening to this podcast it sounds like a nice way in.
Philip: To something that can be a little bit exclusive seeming you know or you know like you need training to be able to say it or what.
Jasmine: You don’t need that.
Carla: Or to even have interest.
Philip: Triple bill
Jasmine: Well guaranteed you’ll like one.
Carla: Because that’s the thing of what I’ve found with us going to these contemporary work. The thing that I find most intriguing is you can really palpably feel how engaged and excited the performers are by the work. Because I imagine they spend a lot of their time doing the same kind of what they like Shakespearean actors doing all the same.
Jasmine: They love that though.
Carla: Plays all the time. I’m sure they love it. But it seems it just sort of I don’t like their energy just feels like off the charts.
Philip: And their fear. Are they conservative the dancers or are they like loving the contemporary stuff.
Jasmine: Oh if I look at it it’s like any group of artists you know there’s 77 dancers in the company.
Jasmine: It’s very diverse actually.
Philip: Because I know that I reckon the classical music is a bored by classical audiences. That’s what I’m hinting and I’m wondering if dancers are the same. They’re just like catch up! stop liking Capella.
Jasmine: Oh no. The thing is that you know they’re classical dancers that’s their core.
Carla: That’s what they love.
Jasmine: Yeah so.
Carla: They would be contemporary. There would be contemporary dances if they wanted to.
Philip: Oh that whole other category. Yeah.
Jasmine: They can do both you know because we’ve just done The Merry Widow, which is wonderful in a different way but. And then this base three different works utilize different people in different roles different music so…
Jasmine: Come from the 21st of June, you must come along.
Carla: We’re huge fans of Slate Culture Gabfest which most people are. And Dana Stevens on there is completely in love with this show Bunheads. Have you seen it?
Jasmine: No I haven’t but I am familiar with the term Bunhead.
Jasmine: It’s a colloquial.
Carla: Maybe. There you go. There’s a hot tip for you.
Philip: Is it a doco or a drama.
Carla: I think it’s like it’s a no. I think it only lasted for one or two seasons and it’s a you know it’s a fictionalisation of being a ballet dancer. Yeah but I can’t. I think its maybe children or young like younger girls in a ballet school or something like that.
Philip: I’m writing this down.
Jasmine: Core. I’m gonna go and look at it.
Philip: Carla do you have comings soon?
Carla: Dark Mofo is coming soon very soon. By the time these episodes released I might actually be there. There’s lots of really cool esoteric stuff happening at this one as is usual. But I just want to.
Philip: You’re just making us jealous.
Carla: I was going to spruik a few things but I don’t think there’s any point, if you’re going to Dark Mofo see me and say hi.
Philip: Have fun. My little thing to get people to see before wraps is Terranullius, the Soda Jerk film. The 55 minute film screening at ACMI. I finally got along and it’s still there for a little while every hour. So if you’re in Fed Square and it’s almost o clock go and say it it’s actually very moving.
Carla: Hold up it’s actually at Vivid Festival right now in Sydney as well. And it’s going to be playing a Dark Mofo.
Philip: OK. Chances to see it.
Carla: Very high.
Philip: And that’s the thing that surprised me was that it is especially for lovers of Australian cinema moving.
Jasmine: I’m excited by that.
Carla: Yeah it is thrilling. I, you know I’m not very into video art. I don’t know why it’s the sort of thing I’m into. Sorry Jesse my other co-host from Club Soderbergh is a video artist. But this was like, Yeah it really I don’t know it’s, it’s what we talked about before with gay staff it’s like always so thirsty for Australian content that we just get instant nostalgia juice from anything that kind of sews is anything from our childhood together. But it is it’s very it’s very wry it’s very vicious.
Philip: And has gay stuff.
Carla: Has gay stuff. So it’s very funny to me it really encapsulates I keep talking about ockerism on the show. But to me that really encapsulates that Paul Keating style of knife sharp satire and cynicism.
Philip: And I love that they have the prime ministers as the way of running the credit.
Carla: Yes. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah of where the film credits come from. Yeah cool. That’s awesome.
Carla: Thanks for coming on our show Jazz.
Jasmine: Thank you. Thank you for having me. Across the aisle.
Philip: And that is that for this month. Thank you so much for listening. You can contact us please at email@example.com, on our Facebook page @acrossaisle or on Twitter @acrossaisle Thank you Mark Barrage and Ron Killeen from Shack West for this sweet sound and thank you was always to the performers who are making the art that we value so dearly without you would lock ourselves up in the outhouse. Thanks again for listening and for supporting our campaign. Go to our site and click on the link and save your tax dollars. See you next month.