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Friday 24 July

Birdbrain was Garry Stewart’s first full-length work for ADT and a formative insight into a new vocabulary of dance that he brought to the company. Broaching a ‘corpus extremis’, his work amalgamates the disciplines of classical ballet, contemporary dance, breakdance, yoga and gymnastics, as well as video art and electronic music. In Birdbrain, Stewart presents a piece that cross examines the grande dame of classical ballet, Swan Lake, dismantling the narrative completely.

‘Everyone has at least some image Swan Lake. It’s an icon that pervades our culture from the Opera House to the football club,’ Stewart said. ‘In Birdbrain I’ve drawn forward the interstices of the narrative: the action of the lovers throwing themselves across the space into the lake, and the moment of metamorphosis when the swans bodies buckle and contort back into being women again.’

First performed at the 2000 Adelaide Festival, Birdbrain became a landmark in Australian contemporary dance with over 200 performances across the globe.


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