Arts & Entertainment

THAW – Harnessed But Not Hanging

Photo: Shane Rozario

BY RENEE DALLOW

Legs On The Wall is presenting their next spectacular, death defying performance piece, Thaw, 20 metres above Sydney harbour, as part of Sydney Festival. Witness as a 2.7 tonne iceberg dangles, like a diamond, from The Opera House. On this iceberg will be a female aerialist dancing free form as the ice gradually melts beneath her. Perilous? Yes! This is Legs On The Wall after all.

Legs On The Wall is a physical performance group with an Aussie cultural identity and a fearless bravado that has seen them perform both nationally and internationally since 1984. Their shows have a political leaning and they’ve dealt with everything from gender bias to workplace accidents and unionism. They have performed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Beijing and London Olympics as well. In 2006 they received The Helpmann Award for best visual and physical performance.

Thaw may be Legs On The Wall’s most ambitious show yet and is all about climate change. The iceberg will be suspended from a crane while the performer remains harnessed. She will have a safety line attached though and so is protected. According to producer, Cecily Hardy, “There is intricate rigging involved which takes weeks to perfect and a lot of training just to do the aerial work. The woman is harnessed but not actually hanging from the iceberg.Then there’s the psychological preparation. Training happens first on icebergs made of wood and foam before graduating to the ice. The actual iceberg, in the meantime, is kept in deep freeze.”

This has Houdini written all over it!

Jan 14-16. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney. Tickets & Info: www.sydneyfestival.org.au/events/thaw

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