Phoenix was originally created as a two-part outdoor performance and closing ceremony for WinterWild Apollo Bay festival where over 500 participants and community gathered.
Phoenix was an ode to the Christmas Day bushfires that ravaged the south west coast of Victoria in 2015, and the symbolic rebuilding of community and place through movement and myth. This was in keeping with the festival’s manifesto and fire-themed weekend.
*The Phoenix troupe consisted of the following: Phoenix trio (3 x dancers), Sentinel torch bearers (2 x performers) and 4 x fire performers.
Part 1 – 30 minutes
Part 2 – 15 minutes
Phoenix trio and Sentinels appeared on the beach at the lighting of the Wildwood Tree. They performed a ceremonial dance around the burning sculpture accompanied by live drumming and song. This was followed by a pyro techniques display and the Phoenix trio and Sentinels leading the participants to the foreshore brazier and main performance area.
The Phoenix trio and Sentinels led the ceremonial lighting of the brazier bonfire to a pre-recorded soundtrack. As the fire burned the Phoenix came to life with LED lights and shimmering wings spanning over three metres. The choreography placed emphasis on sculptural slow movement sequences and built in intensity as the fire grew. The fire performers accompanied the ceremony finale, and then audience members were invited to join the revelry and dance together around the fire.