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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Herding like Penguins

Having had my fill at least temporarily of the free flowing art and performance treats of the Festival and the Junc Room , today I donned my black coat to go underground into the conference itself. Like one of the frenetic penguins in the herd of delegates , intent and focussed on getting to the venue in time for the Plenary Session I dived straight in .
My conference day started exceptionally well with inspirational words of wisdom from Francois Matarasso who managed to explain so succinctly why we are all here at the conference really - how and why art and culture is so important to human existence :- art is the toolbox with which we question , interfere , change , grow and transform; art invites us to become conscious of what we think feel and do; art is a political right , a basic human need ; it allows us to communicate profound and complex meanings to each other – It is the Parliament of Dreams.
Wow, stirring stuff - this man is amazing. I think I’m beginning to get what this herding instinct is all about.

But then all this talking about Art had made me itch for more of the real stuff , so back to the streets I head …
The artistic imperative enacted before my eyes!

And sure enough just round the corner is yet a different group of herders – an audience crouching on the footpath, intently watching , as a curious group of older women perform in two shop front windows. Moving as dolls in their exquisite printed cardboard cut-out dresses with the staccato like grace. A flock of strange wind up birds locked in behind the glass, their expressive faces betraying some elusive narrative. Do they really want to get out ? Or are they happy there in the comfort of their public living rooms? Its mesmerising, enchanting this tiny private yet very public world they inhabit together.
PANE is the offering of MADE – Hobart’s Mature Aged Dance Experience

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