Blown Away by A Faint Existence

The Sydney Opera House provides an opportunity to witness some of Australia’s best performance artists showcasing their premiere works in their series, UnWrapped.

Kristina Chan, one of Australia’s most acclaimed dance artists captivates audiences with a solo performance of A Faint Existence. Exploring themes such as climate change and human fragility though her sometimes-delicate, sometimes-erratic movements, she manages to hypnotise an audience and inspire change in a little less than an hour. Coupled with a dramatic soundtrack by composer James Brown and stage design by artist Clare Britton, the choreography explores our human relation to nature and impending disaster.

We enter the Sydney Opera House studio space and note the intimate setting of the space, the stage small and non-elevated. The show begins in complete darkness, with Kristina Chan front-of-stage, illuminated by a harsh, cold light. She’s close enough to hear her breathing, which is at some points quite intentional and obvious. She rises up on the balls of her feet and back down with a thunder-like thump.  

The music picks up and Kristina starts throwing her body around the stage providing the illusion that she is being thrown around by wind. The mood is set with a stretch of blustering fabric across the top of Kristina, providing the impression of dramatic, windy weather and creating an air of calamity.

Kristina seems to be experiencing internal conflict, battling with feelings of defeat and helplessness, and the urge to fight back.

There are many points in Kristina Chan’s solo performance that seem to stretch longer than typically comfortable. In a world of fast and constant entertainment, Kristina provides a moment of silence, where we, the audience, are made to watch her completely still, head down on the floor, and explore and truly absorb the harsh themes the performance piece imparts.

– Monika

Proud glutton, beer snob, sustainability enthusiast and collector of silly socks. Aspiring ‘Cool Aunt’ who collects eccentric artifacts from her world travels.

The Sydney Opera House runs a variety of unmissable shows throughout the year. For more info, visit their events page.

This venue is accessible.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were an invited guest of HumanKind PR.
Image credit: Daniel Boud