WORLD PREMIERE BY CHOREOGRAPHER PHILLIP ADAMS AT SYDNEY WORLDPRIDE 2023 AT PHOENIX CENTRAL PARK
At this year's Sydney WorldPride (2023), Phillip Adams, Australian maverick of contemporary dance presents Triptych, a divine intervention of queer crucifixions inspired by Francis Bacon’s triptych paintings (1944–1986).
Content warnings: Explicit content, adult themes
Triptych premiere's from Friday 17 February to Saturday 25 February 2023 under the new roof of Phoenix Central Park. Adams creates choreographic abstractions of Bacon’s crucifixions: dancers enact duets of physical detachment and violent tremors that evoke the spectacle of horror - a distinguishing feature of Bacon’s oeuvre. Amidst a sphincter-sex-sling installation, performers portray Bacon’s theatrical and surreal imaginariums of the crucifixion in a Disney-esque balletic parody of the grotesque.
Adams’ collaborators on Triptych are some of Australia’s most influential contemporary artists: visual artists Paul Yore and Devon Ackerman; fashion designer Toni Maticevski; composers David Chisholm and Duane Morrison; architect and artist Matthew Bird and video artist James Wright. These artists break with convention, make queer art and design with intelligence, and experiment with the sort of risk that gives way to unshakeable originality.
Over 25 years, Adams’ body of work has insisted on and argued for the visibility of queer aesthetics in Australian contemporary dance, performance and art. Triptych honours queer elders, histories and communities by exploring queer expression throughout art history as a reliable signifier of the ever-changing avant-garde.
Created by Paul Yore and Devon Ackermann, the set for Triptych is drawn variously from depictions of domestic and cinematic space in the work of Bacon, particularly two Triptych works from 1970. The material and formal elements for the set are largely drawn from these paintings, in which modernist depictions of domesticity foreground a psychosexual depiction of the body that can openly be read as masculinist, queer, libidinal, violent, performative, grotesque and/or ambiguous. The set itself will consist of three distinct elements, which also references what Bacon himself called the ‘balanced unit’ of the Triptych format.
Australian fashion icon Toni Maticevski has built a brand, and vision that has defied trends and inspired contemporary women’s fashion and design for nearly two decades. Maticevski has collaborated with Phillip Adams BalletLab for two productions, Miracle (2009) and Aviary (2011) for which he won a Helpmann Award (shared with Milliner Richard Nylon.) For Triptych, Maticevski’s costume designs subvert Bacon’s exposed and disconfigured bodies through ornate bondage and suited attire: kinky-prince meets power-bottom adorned in designer jock straps.
Triptych celebrates the cultural kitsch of Christian spirituality and transforms its heteronormative iconography with a queer veneer.
Go into the ballot to win tickets - drawn on TUESDAY 7 Feb 2023
The performance includes a film created and performed by Adams in collaboration with NON Studio’s Director, James Wright. Adams’ works often include startling elements to shake an audience out of complacency. In Triptych, this tendency is made centrepiece, portraying the queer body as an unstable site of sublime beauty and abhorrence. The film in which Adams performs a painterly choreographic expression atop a large-scale canvas using his anus as a brush, references the blood of Christ
“I read the rectum paint as ‘a font of creation’, an expression of deep privacy, a physicality we are conditioned from childhood to reject. In attending a crucifixion, one witnesses an act of ultimate judgement. In Triptych, I challenge the act of witnessing – by joining the dancers only on film, my presence seeps outside the frame of the live performance; in this intervention my fragmented presence becomes the omnipotent judge and the ultimately judged.”
– Phillip Adams
Choreography and Artistic Director: Phillip Adams
Performers: Harrison Hall, Samuel Harnett-Welk, Benjamin Hurley, Oliver Savariego, Alexandra Dobson
Set Design: Paul Yore and Devon Ackerman
Costume Design: Toni Maticevski
Weapons: Matthew Bird
Composers: David Chisholm, Duane Morrison
Videography: James Wright
For any inquires please contact Triptych producer Anna McDermott, firstname.lastname@example.org
TRIPTYCH at PHOENIX CENTRAL PARK
DATE AND TIME
Opening Night: Friday 17 February 2023, 7.30pm
Saturday 18 February 2023, 7.30pm
Tuesday 21 February 2023,7.30pm
Wednesday 22 February 2023,7.30pm
Thursday 23 February 2023,7.30pm
Friday 24 February 2023, 7.30pm
Closing performance: Saturday 25 February 2023, 3pm
Phoenix Central Park
49 O'Connor St
Chippendale NSW 2008
60 minutes, no interval
For more information please visit their website
Image credits: 3 Deep with Georges Antoni
Phillip Adams BalletLab is proudly supported by the Australian Government RISE Fund, City of Port Phillip and Creative Victoria