Paradise City – 2006

© Justin Nicholas

Teens will love it for its raw energy and urban culture while established theatre audiences will be enthralled by its sophisticated interpretive physical theatre […] See it for the immediacy of performance and for the charged climax to its elusive narrative. Unspoken, yet starkly dreamt, Paradise City is a brilliant powerhouse of physical poetics. Don’t be afraid to sit in the front row.
– Independent Weekly, Adelaide, 24 April 2008

In a truly spectacular hybrid of urban street-style meets dance, a skater, a break-dancer, a BMX rider, an acrobat, a dancer and a singer converge at a meeting in a stark urban space. This no-place, non-space is strewn with orange & white road barriers; a plush red velvet curtain cascades incongruously into it, a leftover from some former glory.

The skateboarder prepares the space, his wheels tracing cursive arcs across the surface. Watching him is a woman dancing; her inner thoughts of an alienating city eerily sung & growled by a fallen opera diva. Entering & changing the rhythm with convulsive body pulsations is a break-dancer, made anonymous by a faceless hood.

Weaving through the road barriers, a BMX rider dances from pedal to peg and up on one wheel, his bike spinning around his body. The diva voices the bodies to a live score spanning Bach, filmic soundscapes and driving beats, as the performers begin to interact, to mimic and borrow and steal – and to shape the urban world they inhabit.