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September 5, 2019

Your ticket to see ADT’s stunning new work: North/South

It's September and Adelaide needs to warm the hell up already. Lucky then we've got a hot ticket item for you, dear reader!

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  • Interview: Josh Fanning
  • Photos: Sven Kovac

It would be so much easier to show you how talented and interesting the people we get to write about are, if you could just listen in to our phone calls and interviews live.

Interviewing Garry Stewart from Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) is the perfect example. Garry’s passion for his art and sincere concern and empathy for humanity and this planet can never be done justice within the confines of these words on your screen.

His latest project is, again, ridiculously ambitious.

North/South is a world premiere in Adelaide next week. It’s a dancework double bill – a collaboration between himself and Norwegian choreographer Ina Christel Johannessen, whom he met in Tromsø when Ina was the resident artist at the Svalbard Seed Vault (of course).

As long-time supporters of ADT, CityMag has a special offer for our subscribers. Normally $62, click HERE and purchase your ticket to North/South for $49.50 (or 20% off any ticket price excluding the preview).

Enter promotion code CityMag in the promo code box before selecting seats and see North/South with us for just $49.50.

Responding to the polar regions of our planet – the Arctic Circle and Antarctica – North/South is an extraordinary double bill performed by the most elite bodies in South Australia, the dancers of the ADT.

You can buy as many tickets as you like but please note our allocation is limited and this show is bound to sell out (45,000 people are reading this invite right now!) so click on through.


Garry Stewart directs rehearsals for North/South

Garry Stewart directs rehearsals for North/South


Synopsis: North/South

When humans seek refuge in an enclosed space how is their behaviour shaped when lethal weather forces rage all around them? Ina Christel Johannessen’s North sees a collection of odd characters trapped in a shelter amidst an Arctic blizzard. As an artist living and working in the Arctic Circle, Johannessen has witnessed first-hand the rapid changes wrought by global warming and it’s emotional and psychological impacts on the people that live there. North explores the intimate and powerful exchange that plays out between humans and their environment.

Garry Stewart’s South depicts Sir Douglas Mawson’s fateful and dramatic journey to Antarctica as an allegory for our current predicament in the era of rapid global warming. Travelling from Adelaide to the Southern Continent in 1913, Mawson’s story is one of loss and vulnerability in an alien and forbidding landscape.

Kimball Wong, Garry Stewart and Zoë Dunwoodie of Australian Dance Theatre


Q&A with Garry Stewart

CityMag: The key art for this performance is stunning. Where did you get the snow from?
Garry Stewart: Oh I just packed a bunch of ice around Kimball (Wong’s) head. I put Kimball through all sorts of rigours. We were doing development in Massachusetts recently and I had him dancing around a Home Depot with a sheet of perspex. He’s a stalwart character.

North/South is by two artists, yourself and Ina Christel Johannessen. How will that manifest on the night?
It’s literally a double bill program. We were in discussions – Ina and I – about how we might make one work transition into the next, but in the end we decided on two separate works. The connection comes from these two discourses sharing the singular idea of the polar extremes of our planet. Ina lives in Norway and in the Arctic Circle. She was a resident artist at the Svalbard seed vault – a massive vault built into the side of a mountain that contains all of world’s agricultural plant seeds.

It’s also known as the Doomsday vault.
That’s right. Only Afghanistan has accessed the vault when it lost a particular strand of wheat, but essentially it’s there to repopulate the world’s agriculture in a worst-case scenario.

Did you and Ina work together or separately in creating North/South?
We worked quite separately on this, which is a good thing. I really wanted to work in a way that quarantined our processes and methodology and ways of thinking as artists, so the audience can really experience those differences through each of our works. North/South is held together thematically, so it made sense to develop these works in isolation.

What’s interesting about North is there’s actually a population living in the Arcitic Circle where there isn’t in Antarctica. In North a diverse group of people get stuck in a bus shelter – they get snowed in. It becomes an allegory for our times.

South on the other hand is very distinct and very different. The story of the ill-fated expedition of Sir Douglas Mawson and two men who died on the journey to the South Pole, leaving Mawson alone to fight his way back to the base camp. There was a moment when Mawson was considering death and considering allowing himself to fall into a crevasse and end it all. He was a man of great emotional strength but also, those early explorations were really the first work in the despoliation of Antarctica.


CityMag ticket prices:

A Res Adult: $49.50
A Res Conc: $45.50
B Res Adult: $41.50
B Res Conc: 37.50


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