1803


1803
is a unique outdoor physical theatre performance
on the banks of the Yarra River at The
Collingwood Children's Farm in Abbotsford. The work is a subverted re-enactment
of the first Europeans to come up the river in 1803.During the rehearsal period there
was regular indigenous revegetation work on the banks of the river, and Sense
of Place exercises at the site with the director,  the dancers and a broader group of workshop participants.

The performance contains a
critical and playful examination of how these first Europeans saw the landscape
(through the lenses of Enlightenment Science, and Romanticism), how they
interacted with indigenous people, and how the journals they kept wrote the
landscape into the European Imagination. Other themes are; how our current view
of the land is informed by the approaches of these first explorers, the nature
of colonial exploration, the types of narratives in explorer's journals, and
some of the ways which early European men in Australia related to this place (through
damaging and exploiting the land, through drunkenness, and through aggressive
and/or sexual interactions with the indigenous population, amongst others.)

The work was first staged in 2003
and then again in 2005. It was supported by The
City of Yarra,  Parks
Victoria, The Collingwood Children's Farm, and the Victorian College of the Arts. Most of the performances sold out, and there was a fully booked
schools program.
(click to expand images)