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February 24, 2016

Dance: The natural evolution of communication

When cutting a rug gives your message a different kind of cut through.

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  • Pictures: Chris Herzfeld - Camlight Productions

Habitus is the first work in The Nature Series, Garry Stewart’s exploration of ecosystem processes, rhythms in nature and climate change, that will eventually include a number of stage and installation projects.


Presented by Australian Dance Theatre and Adelaide Festival Centre in association with the Adelaide Festival of Arts. 

The high concept piece launches this Friday (February 26) in the Space Theatre at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Premiering at the 2016 Adelaide Festival of Arts, Habitus commences this exploration by investigating the 21st century obsession with materialism and the impact of this consumption on our environment.

More than an examination of our relationship with possessions, things and stuff, Habitus reflects on “how our behaviour is shaped by our man-made environment,” says Garry.

The underlying comment on climate change exists in the narrative of the show and when we suggest that perhaps dance could do something that talk has so far failed to achieve, Garry agreed.

“Yeah, beyond linguistics you can find truth in sensation,” he says. “Everyone has a body. And, sure, we’re a part of culture but that body is a part of nature too.”

Alluding to the next work in The Nature Series, Garry goes on to explain the rhythmic cycles of our planet – overlapping seasons, day and night, the tides – it all adds up to an environmental reconciliation with the organic nature of life, which in the age of the machine is entirely worth experiencing. What’s more, it makes sense to talk about it using the language of dance.



Friday, 26-Feb-2016 6:30PM
Saturday, 27-Feb-2016 6:30PM
Monday, 29-Feb-2016 8:00PM
Tuesday, 1-Mar-2016 8:00PM
Wednesday, 2-Mar-2016 8:00PM
Thursday, 3-Mar-2016 8:00PM
Friday, 4-Mar-2016 8:00PM
Saturday, 5-Mar-2016 8:00PM

We’ve no doubt that Habitus will be full of invention and humour as the nine exceptional dancers from Australian Dance Theatre interact with books, sofas, tables, chairs, clothes and ironing boards in the most ingenious ways possible. But for Garry, he says he never understands entirely what he’s created until the audience shows up.

“Just moving the production out of the rehearsal studio and onto the stage has made a huge difference,” he says. “But the work, in totality, is the circuitry between the audience and performers. It’s only then that we can really begin to understand the work we have made”.

Sounds like something to be a part of.


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