One on one

AN audience of one for a hip hop or dance performance?

Or a filmed interview where the interviewer is the sole audience member and the interviewee the actor.

Proximity Festival is a one-on-one theatre experience that’s not always comfortable, but promises to be entertaining and thought-provoking.

“It’s about looking at a form of intimacy and performance; it allows for multiple ideas and voices and bite-size experiences,” says Sarah Rowbottom, festival co-curator.

“The artists put themselves on the line, they expose themselves talking about personal experiences.”

She and fellow curator Kelli Mccluskey kicked off the festival five years ago, securing artists from across Australia for a grab-bag of experimental micro-performances.

This year, for the first time, festival acts will be perform in the buildings around Cathedral Square, between St Georges Terrace and Hay Street.

From dance to visual arts, audience interaction is the key, but the audience is always just one person, so each 20-minute show is idiosyncratic.

“It only works with audience participation,” Rowbottom says.

Intimate walking tours, caffeine-fuelled discussions and a late night party are all on the cards.

“Get ready to search for love in high places, celebrate black matriarchy through power-laden rap, pit yourself against a robotic tennis opponent and ride back-seat on a motorcycle as you become an extra on a film set,” Rowbottom says.

Performers will include Brisbane-based artist Hannah Bronte, whose work is deeply influenced by hip-hop and female protest culture, and Sydney’s Nat Randall, who brings a cinematic edge to durational performance.

Or you could end up being an extra on a motorbike, as Australian muslim Cidgem Aydemir casts a cynical eye on the war on terror, subverting the power of the patriarchy in a playfully deviant way.

For more details on the 10-day festival visit http://www.proximityfestival.com

by JENNY D’ANGER

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