For most people, your 20s can be life changing and an opportunity to grow and discover new things about yourself. It is a time to define who you are and what it is you want from life. Presented by Transit Dance, as part of the 2016 Midsumma Festival, Boyz is a dance piece that explores this passage into male adulthood, full of addictive behaviours, sexual habits and testosterone-fuelled tendencies.
"Boyz is a reflection on the beautiful and often frenzied existence of a young man's life in their early 20's. The constant self exploration, experimental interaction and uncontrollable urges that guide you through everyday life," director and choreographer of the work, Paul Malek says. "It's physical, which isn't surprising considering it is explored through contemporary dance and it is a celebration, and appreciation of the male form, and the exquisite capabilities and possibilities that can be created when it is thrust together with such subject matter."
The five young men in Boyz - dancers Jayden Hicks, Samuel Harnett-Welk, Charles Ball, Lachlan Hall and Kurt Dwyer-Williams - are living under the same roof, and searching for love, money and happiness. Having lived in similar housing situations himself, Malek has had much inspiration for this work. "The performance is drawn not just from my personal experiences, but also current friends, partners, ex-partners etc. I think moving into this phase of my life and adulthood I am at a point of reflection, and analysis of where I came from and what makes a man who they are today," he explains. "It seems, and I do know some men that can prove me wrong in this, but what drives a man in his early 20's in thought, decision and motivation is different to a man in their early 30's."
Malek worked closely with the five dancers to create the piece and allowing it to reach its full potential. "It is quite the collaborative process when I work with a group of dancers and together we create a lot of content that we refine, chisel down or expand out into what we will eventually perform at opening night," he explains. "Working with a group of all males has been rewarding, the physicality and aggression they can bring to the movement and the vulnerability and sensuality are at two opposite ends of the spectrum. This in itself leaves a myriad of opportunities when creating with them."
"We created a movement vocabulary, with a series of movement phrases based on the subject matter at hand, and then work together to expand these with different relationships, pathways and situation. Not having created a stand alone production on this level for almost three years now I have had a lot of time to work on my creative processes, and I believe my work is made in a completely different way than what some might expect."
Audiences have only four opportunities to catch this show which Malek is hoping will leave a lasting energy on them. "I am hoping the will be able to reflect in some way for hours, days or weeks after they see Boyz. I am not quite sure what the emotional impact will be yet, but I think audience members, no matter what, will be in awe of the ability and fearlessness of the cast we have assembled, and the confronting journey they go on throughout this work."
Venue: Transit Dance, 2/10 Elizabeth St, Kensington
Season: 27 - 30 January | Wed - Sat 8.30pm
Tickets: $30 Full | $22 Conc
Bookings: Midsumma Festival