Carriageworks will present the premiere of a new contemporary Australian theatre work titled Simple Infinity, created by Urban Theatre Projects and developed in partnership with artists who identify as operating differently in the world. Presented at Carriageworks from 13 until 16 July 2016, Simple Infinity interweaves performance, dance and new contemporary classical music, in a celebration of the individual – illuminating the vulnerability and fragility of our personal and intimate connections with each other.
Artistic Director Rosie Dennis has collaborated with a team of professional artists, many of whom who identify as having mental health issues, to explore the broader social issue of “less visible” disabilities. Some of the artists in the work prefer not use labels when referring to how they experience and live in the world, preferring to talk about how people operate differently in the world. Part of the process of making the work is a series of open rehearsals onsite at Carriageworks.
Commenting on the work, Rosie Dennis said: “Conversational in tone, we’re inviting the audience into an ephemeral space to experience the unravelling of an idiosyncratic conversation between our two protagonists. Whilst superficially this conversation may read as playful, the subtext seeks to spark a bigger conversation about mental health and the impact it has on people’s lives.”
Lisa Havilah, Director of Carriageworks, commented: “Artists with a disability make a significant contribution to our artistic and cultural life in NSW. The support of the NSW Government through the NSW Arts and Disability Partnership is enabling us to deliver high-quality innovative work that bring together NSW arts companies such as Urban Theatre Projects and differently-abled artists.”
Simple Infinity includes new contemporary classical music composed by NSW-based composer Liberty Kerr, performed by a traditional string quartet. Australian dancer and choreographer Vicki van Hout will perform alongside spoken word performances by Luke Waterlow and Cheng Moy Yeow. The set takes the form of an infinity symbol in the centre of Carriageworks’ public space, offering a sonic and visual experience for visitors during the non-performance hours of the season. Simple Infinity is the first commission to be realised under Carriageworks’ National Arts and Disability Strategy New Normal and is supported by the NSW Government through the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and Arts NSW. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Ministry for the Arts’ Catalyst— Australian Arts and Culture Fund.
New Normal is an extension of the NSW Arts & Disability Partnership, announced in January 2015 by the NSW Minister for Disability Services, Minister John Ajaka MLC. It includes funding of $475,000 to support four programs that promote social inclusion through the arts and disability sector. The Partnership also includes $100,000 support for Carriageworks to commission two major new works developed by artists with disability in collaboration with NSW arts companies and artists.