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DDF News — 26 May 2023

Festival Blog - Guest Review of The Sudden by Louise Bruton

Festival Blog - Guest Review of The Sudden by Louise Bruton

What drives art? Government funding? Politics? The audience? Or judging panels? Using scrutinous but fun dance vignettes, Pan Pan’s The Sudden examines the occasionally corrupt forces behind art.

The audience is offered t-shirts that say things like, ‘in the future’, ‘everyone will want’, ‘to be’, ‘anonymous’, ‘for fifteen minutes’. Set on a show’s closing night, our dancers, Salma Ataya, Vitor Bassi, Mollyanna Ennis and Katherine O’Malley, discuss the show backstage; it hasn’t gone well, but the free food at the after party should ease tensions, they say. Some audience members join the party, while the rest, relieved or jilted by their exclusion, watch them eat ice cream and direct the dancers, who don t-shirts that read ‘Art is not a competition unless you win’.

The select guests instruct O’Malley how to dance and Ennis leads a lesson in telepathy as the troupe contort their bodies to limb-breaking limits. Ataya, from Palestine, tells a story of performing for Colonel Gaddafi, who doesn’t bother watching, and Bassi’s display of virtuosity climaxes in wet hairography to Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time.

Provocative, surreal and completely unexpected, The Sudden is a collective experience that explores the complicated discourse around funding and reviews. Even if the dancers are told what to do or their choreography is political, sexy or funny, their art is valuable, no matter how it was made or consumed. If art falls in a forest and Gaddafi doesn’t hear it, does it still have value? The answer is a resounding yes.

Witten by Louise Bruton -

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