12/01/2013 - 13/01/2013
A series of exhilarating performances will storm the concrete jungle with a high voltage site-specific exploration using drama, dance, acrobatics, film, music and design.
Crossroads features 30 young performers from a diverse range of refugee, migrant and local communities. The multi-cultural cast come from; Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Fiji, India, NZ, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tonga and Zimbabwe.
The young performers will soar through the Silo’s city space, and bring to life their personal stories of journeys, boundaries crossed and new territories entered. Imaginative and powerful voices with creativity, courage, humour and celebration.
Directed by Wendy Preston with an inter-disciplinary creative team of leading artists including Moss Patterson, Chris Graham, Mike Baker, Peter Hobbs, with up-and-coming film production collective Votre Arme and designer Jessika Verryt.
In the four days leading up to the weekend event the process of completing the performance at the Silo Park site will be open to public view.
Mixit is an inspirational multicultural youth project that uses the arts as a platform for empowerment, connection, and for young people with refugee backgrounds to ‘mix it’ with migrant and local youth.
|JAN 12-13TH 2013
|Perfomances take place at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm
|Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland City
A quilt of skits
Review by Reynald Castaneda 12th Jan 2013
This weekend’s Crossroads is a fun diversion at Auckland’s Silo Park. An al fresco theatrical experience by Mixit – a multicultural youth project with a focus on empowering young people with refugee backgrounds – it’s the kind of event that makes Auckland such a wonderful place to be during the summer.
A tapestry of theatre and dance with a taste of Brazilian carnival, Crossroads portrays different migrant experiences with a cheeky wink.
As Crossroads begins, it feels more like a pedestrian curiosity rather than a full-on invite to street theatre. Three groups of ten performers each emerge out of nowhere. Decked out in fancy costumes – from sequined boleros to pinstriped gangster suits – they sing and dance to attract audiences to converge on them. As it’s an outdoor performance, it teases our desire to eavesdrop.
These three groups depict three different narratives. The one that I followed portrays an English migrant from the 1980s as he recollects his journey through snow-covered mountains to his keen audience who probably have never seen the snow. The other group has modern backpackers interacting in awe with African locals, while the third group was a bit too distant from me to make sense of.
Eventually, they all converge. Crossroads reveals itself as a quilt of skits with a focus on the migrant experience. Charmingly depicted, it is sometimes reminiscent of Jacques Tati’s Playtime wherein there’s so much movement and storytelling in a specific moment. Within its 40 minute running time, audiences are transported to – for example – far-flung markets and border crossings with corrupt immigration officers.
Crossroads is not so much about dialogue but about atmosphere, and it succeeds. Its main strength though is its venue. Auckland’s Silo Park is an amazing space. As the performers use the entire space as its stage, they are freely mobile from one side of the park to the other. That said, they could use the venue more strategically and thoughtfully. The pit-stops on their journey sometimes feel a little random and I can’t stop imagining what their singing voices would sound like echoing inside those silos.
The performers are a joy to watch. They all radiate with energy and contagious smiles. It’s clear to see that Mixit’s objective, as an artistic outlet for these migrant youths, is a successful one. Here’s hoping we see more of them in the future.
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