Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

You know, I think another reason why I love the arts so much is that they allow us to express emotion and to understand the emotions of others. We can enter into someone’s experience, though it may be so different from our own. We can see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the scent, touch the texture, and taste the flavours.

For someone like me who is trained in the arts, it is so easy to get stuck in following the rules and using time-tested techniques- to guarantee that your work will ‘pass’. Sometimes it’s easier to stop at this rather than letting emotion get involved. Emotion is messy and it doesn’t always follow the order of things.

But sharing emotion is how we truly connect.

It has been so inspiring to watch our festival artists aim to give their best on the technique front, while also giving of themselves emotionally.

Tami Neilson took us back to her roots with some good old country tunes. Her gorgeous yellow dress (which she wore especially “to match the festival”) brought sunshine into the Palace, just like her warm, inviting personality. She smiled and laughed until she snorted, and we laughed with her, especially when she snorted. And then we cried. Tami’s father passed away earlier this year, and she was brave enough to share a song she had written about him. The lyrics were truly some of the best I’ve ever heard, possibly because this song was written from a place of raw emotion.

Echo Beach was another show that went straight through the heart. Hannah Sullivan reminded us of how unique we are as humans, and how our childhood memories can have a profound effect on our story. She showed us how dancing can communicate so many different things- not the performing kind of dance, but the dance we do in our living room, at a party, or in our own world.

Java Dance Company helped us to remember the joys of childhood in their show “Dirt and Other Delicious Ingredients”. Being a child is all about discovery, and exploring the world using the five senses. This performance definitely took us back there. There were exciting dances and silly songs with no real words. Capsicums were juggled, thrown and caught in baskets… and there was a food fight, with real tomatoes… and then everyone had a bath. Oh, and there were coffee beans and cinnamon sticks thrown all over the floor, which smelt amazing! And leaves. Leaves everywhere. It was so innocent and earthy and messy. It brought us joy.

Java are performing at the Palace again tonight at 8:30. You should come.

Catch you later.

Leah x

I’m sorry to say so

But sadly it’s true

That bang ups and hang ups

Can happen to you…

You can get all hung up

In a prickly perch

And your gang will fly on

You’ll be left in a lerch…

-Dr Seuss