Dean Walsh and Andrew Batt-Rawden are performing a 15-minute duet, a rendition of Dean’s feature-length (60-minute) solo Threshold:NRC, for the annual Sydney Festival of Death and Dying on the 22nd September at the Drill Hall, Rushcutter’s Bay, Sydney.
Dying to Sea is presented as part of the Mortality Performance Night, featuring several renowned Sydney-based intergenerational performance-makers, choreographers, dancers, performers and indigenous elders.
Dean Walsh has been researching and developing marine environmental aware-raising methods (embodied approach), for the past 12 years. In this period he has made numerous works reflecting his research collaborations with marine scientists and as an avid scuba, free diver and marine environmentalist himself.
The embodied communication methodology that he has compiled over this time, and that he references during choreographic processes and workshop facilitation engagements, is called PrimeOrderly. With this, he aims to enlighten people from diverse sectors of the wider community on the pressing concerns around our vast marine environments - our common ‘body of water’ and genetic lineage.
Dying to Sea, as Threshold:NRC did in May 2018 (PACT Theatre, Sydney), conveys a particular urgent issue that reveals how we have all, for at least 7 decades now, recklessly engaged in daily behaviour that has played a significant role in the collapse of our ocean’s ecosystem balance. We were once naive to this but now we are becoming more aware, more awoke. But our ocean needs more than our ‘waking up’ - it needs our combined action … what environmental philosopher, Glenn Albrecht calls the Soliphilia.
In more recent yeas, findings by leading scientists and the agencies that fund their research, presents humanity with some very urgent concerns. Vast swathes of our ocean are dying due to over-fishing, fossil fuel and fertilizer pollutants, sub-surface noise pollution and plastic debris, all adding to oceanic environmental collapse and adding to climate change escalation more than any other environment on Earth.
The point of irreversible damage is drawing ever-closer. These findings are now being supported by the world’s top banks, having recently declared that Earth’s oceans are running out of resources to sustain life - both in and out of the sea.
To this extent, Dying to Sea is an elegy for our life-supporting water body - our ‘inner space’, genetic, biological, environmental and spiritual. It also asks what we might yet be able to achieve, together, if we pool our resources and activate far more inter-species empathy and work towards having our environmental carelessness reversed.
For more info on the festival and where to get tickets for both the festival day and/or the Mortality Performance evening event click here: https://deathfest.net
The Drill Hall is also home to Critical Path, Australia’s national choreographic research centre.