Kawaakari - (n.) the gleam of last light on a river’s surface at dusk; the glow of a river in the darkness.
Dub-style beats rippled through the room, mystic smoke filling the stage as Maria appeared in another gorgeous white outfit
The night was packed full of experimental visual, light and sound performances, organised by the wonderfully talented Jessica Fulker.
First to grace the stage, and the ones to end the night, was Kimatica, presenting their unique body mapping performance. Using technical software designed by themselves, vibrant gray scale patterns were splashed across the screen being influenced and manipulated by the performer, Maria. She used her body in primitive movements to create exceptional art in collaboration with their equipment. Their first performance saw Maria wearing a white headdress and veil of countless faces, resembling that of a Chinese dragon costume. Glitchy Geisha was their last, keeping true to its title. Dub-style beats rippled through the room, mystic smoke filling the stage as Maria appeared in another gorgeous white outfit, a modern take on the traditional geisha this time using props to create stunning patterns across the screen. The removal of her outfit to reveal a disturbing clown-esque mask and bright blue braids was a delightfully unnerving finale to their spectacle.
Analema Group were also guests, taking pride in explaining the scientific process behind their cymatic performance and their research into sound vibrations, colour and whether colours can be transferred back into music. Their performer owned the stage in her elaborate frilled gown, with her violin in hand. Using a range of techniques she plucked, strummed and played as the projection demonstrated how musical vibrations can be transformed into colourful patterns. Having had a detailed and thorough explanation beforehand, it was easier to understand the process being demonstrated making it further more enjoyable.
Compère Andy Currums held the night together with his witty yet risqué humour, describing himself to be ‘the Moses of the comedy world’. Set changes were filled with the talented Tim Fulker and his exceptionally graceful music, a peacefully appropriate setting for one to ponder over the visual spectaculars they’d just experienced. Considering a few technical blips, which is expected with any experimental visual arts performance, the team dealt with everything efficiently, presenting one of the most enjoyable nights of the festival yet.
It’s safe to say I still struggle to fathom everything I experienced at Kawaakari. However, I completely fell in love with every performance and dearly hope that this is the start of a new feature of the International Youth Arts Festival that will be seen again in the years to come.