SICK is a collaboration between Phillip Adams and Ryan New in association with Rawcus, supported by the Ian Potter Museum of Art.
SICK is a cross-generational dance and performance project that critiques acceptance and challenges expectations of artists with disability. This new work is a collaboration between award-winning performer Ryan New (Rawcus) and Australia’s foremost provocateur of choreography Phillip Adams.
It poses the unfamiliar question; who is the next generation of disability artists? And where to do their opportunities lie?
The title of the project is a choice word by the artists. “Sick”, beyond the definition of physical and mental illness, can imply negative and positive associations. The artists’ associations with the word sick inspire and inform the development process, to which they carefully apply humour and dysfunction.
For Ryan, a person with autism, ‘sick’ implies an impulse word to be acting out of the ordinary with his body and thoughts, to arrange things the way he feels and sees them. Adams is a fitting choreographic mind for supporting these movements and impulses, as the artists together construct complicated critiques in the mind about the interior of their bodies, some of which are messy and darkly humorous.
SICK speaks about the beauty and awkwardness of two completely unfamiliar and disparate bodies moving epically and graciously failing, together.
"For us, the title SICK holds both negative and positive associations, beyond its immediate connotation of physical and mental illness. Together we are constructing complicated critiques about the interior of our bodies, and our obsessions - some of which are messy and darkly humorous. We want this project to speak about us; the beauty and awkwardness of being two completely unfamiliar and disparate bodies moving epically and graciously failing, together, with Orson Welles and two 70s Hammond organs at our side."
RYAN NEW is a performer, contemporary dancer, tai chi practitioner and landscape innovator. He made his debut in Rawcus in mid 2008 during his time as a performing facilitator at Family Dog Theatre. His roles in Rawcus include Small Odysseys, Another Lament and Songs for a Weary Throat. He led a group of primary schoolers for a Newham project in 2012. He was also a carrier in 2009’s walk of the Chinese Year of the Dragon at Moomba City of Melbourne. Most recent Ryan won the Tropfest awards for best actor in a short film Comican’t.
PHILLIP ADAMS’ career in dance and performance spans over 25 years as a vital contributor to the richness of Australian performing arts. Phillip Adams is one of Australia’s most innovative and challenging choreographers known for his avant – garde and exquisitely staged performances. Adams’ process draws on collaboration through hybrid mediums of music, design, fashion, architecture, cinema and visual arts engaging with the unorthodox, queer and popular culture. Adam’s works have been commissioned and presented at leading Festivals venues in the USA and Europe.
THE HUXLEYS are Will and Garrett Huxley. The Huxleys' shared background in design, photography and performance has informed their practice–a living, ever evolving collage of still images, moving image, costume and performance. The Huxleys have exhibited artwork in installations, fashion shows, performances and photographic exhibitions and festivals across the world including Rome, London, Portugal, New York, Berlin and Australia. Their work reflects their iridescent hyper real world, full of arresting shapes, lurid colour, extreme theatrics and an ethos of glamorous androgynous abandon. Learn more about the Huxley’s here.
Throughout July 2019, Temperance Hall Artistic Director Phillip Adams and artist Ryan New in association with Rawcus undertook a three-week residency at the Ian Potter Museum of Art to conceive and develop SICK.
The residency was one in a series of dance events curated by Phillip Adams as part of the Potter’s Inside Out season. The series showcased a range of emerging and established Australian artists as they explored the possibilities of dance in a museum environment.
The Phillip Adams dance series has been generously supported by Susan and Professor John B. Wardle. The Potter’s 2019 Inside Out program has been supported by Peter Jopling AM QC, Andy Zhang and Calvin Huang.
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Photo 1: Gregory Lorenzutti
Photo 2: Supplied
Photo 3: Gregory Lorenzutti