Frank Enstein challenges the idea of perfection in world premiere for Bleach* 2017

daniel-monks-and-brianna-kell-in-frank-enstein-photography-by-claudio-kirac

One of Australia’s most surprising contemporary arts events, Bleach* Festival has released the first glimpse of its 2017 line-up, exploring the convergence of sport and art, across two weeks and three huge weekends from 31 March to 16 April.

Frank Enstein, one of three world premieres in Bleach* Festival 2017, is a new commission that will bring two of Australia’s boldest contemporary dance companies – Gold Coast / Berlin based The Farm and Perth based Co3 Australia – together for the first time.

Rising star, actor, dancer and fearless filmmaker Daniel Monks will take centre stage as the eponymous Frank, who creates a series of übermensch or hyper-athletic monsters. The new production, which features magic, breathtakingly physical dance, an original score and a wicked sense of humour, is designed to appeal to children and adults.

“Frank has spent most of his life alone, terrified of people, and yet, like most of us, harbours a deep need to connect and be loved,” explains Daniel.

“Because of his physical disability, he feels even more isolated from the predominantly able-bodied society, and believes because he is ‘lesser’, no other person would ever willingly choose to love him. He creates these perfect creatures so that he can experience love, and finds safety in what he believes to be the artificial nature of their love; allowing himself to experience relationships without having to face the terrifying risk of actually connecting with real, autonomous humans.”

“I can deeply relate to Frank’s struggle, as I remember when I acquired my disability at age 11, I spent many years believing as fact that I was now ‘lesser’ and that I would never be able to experience romantic relationships, and would instead have to spend my life alone. Frank’s journey mirrors my own personal journey to self-acceptance and self-love, and one that I hope will inspire audiences to embrace and celebrate their deliciously imperfect selves.”

Brad Rush, Programming Director at The Arts Centre Gold Coast, sums up the feeling of excitement around the production.

“Gold Coast is becoming the home for the development of new works that will find a way onto stages nationally and internationally.

“The Arts Centre is pleased to nurture our relationship with Bleach festival to bring this new work to life.

“Frank Enstein has been created by The Farm Collective, and the centre is equally thrilled to be able to develop new contemporary works.”

Collaborators on Frank Enstein include Co3’s artistic director Raewyn Hill and artists Andrew Searle, Talitha Maslin and Zachary Lopez, independent dance artist Brianna Kell, Finnish set and costume designer Vilma Mattila, Sydney composer and sound designer James Brown, and international lighting designer and long time The Farm collaborator Mark Howett.

Frank Enstein will have its world premiere at Bleach* Festival on Friday 31 March 2016 at The Arts Centre Gold Coast. Tickets to the three performances of Frank Enstein during Bleach* are on sale now.

IMAGE (c) Claudio Kirac

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