In a handful of shows at NORPA last week Yaegl Bundjalung man Mitch King and Blake Rhodes traversed a multi-media kaleidoscope to tell the story of Dirrangan, an old woman of the Clarence River from the creation period.
I saw the bones of this show in development in August 2019. King’s intensity on the stage at that time was always a guarantee that audiences would be engaged, and the resulting Flow is a really lovely piece of work.
The clever weaving of movement and dance with live and recorded music and song, and a tricky arrangement of front and overhead projection, means that there is always something visual and aural to grab your attention.
The story itself, the flow of the river and Mitch’s inner flow, is another weaving of King and a series of videoed interviews with Yaegl elders and emerging leaders. It is a genuinely interesting yarn with the sprinkling of well-known physical landmarks on the Clarence to anchor you to Country.
Overall the show is great, but I’d like to see it again down the track if it had an opportunity to tour – there were a couple of moments that felt undercooked and, as often happens in short runs, I feel the performances need more time to settle into their stride.
The rapport between King and Rhodes was authentically warm, in particular a moment when they lit themselves with torches – it would be wonderful to see what would happen to Flow after an extended run.