Working for the first time with Sydney Dance Company on a new commission, Meryl Tankard produced a powerful work, INUK 2, which premierd on Saturday 29 March in 2008 at the Theatre Royal in Sydney.
A tribal dance for the 21st Century, INUK 2 is a virtual journey through the present: albeit through states of mind and attitudes of the soul, rather than through climactic zones, arriving at a stopover place on one’s journey through the world and its inhabitants.
‘Inuk’ is a word from the Inuit language meaning ‘human being’. For Meryl Tankard, the word becomes a representation of the modern nomadic traveller, transported by aeroplane from one country to another within hours, the body already in Europe, with the mind still in Australia.
It is a work of intense emotions and physicality, driven by the insistent and hypnotic voices of rhythmic chants – a virtual soundtrack of the human voice drawn from Inuit, Tuvan, Finnish, Portugese voices and Meredith Monk.
At times a wild and exhilarating ride, INUK 2 lives off the joy of dance which is laden with energy. Sydney Dance Company’s dancers brought an unflagging enthusiasm to the process of creation in order to meet the challenges of Meryl Tankard’s artfully constructed and yet elementary dynamism.
Meryl Tankard is recognised internationally for the originality of her work and for the creation of a dance aesthetic all her own. During her years with Australian Dance Theatre she created a dynamic versatile company, placing Meryl Tankard’s work in great demand in Europe and North America. Meryl has since created work for Nederlands Dans Theater, Lyon Opera Ballet and The Australian Ballet to name a few.
Her major, large-scale commissions include the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and her 2004 Sydney Festival commission KAIDAN, a collaboration with Taikoz Drummers, produced by the Sydney Opera House, are all testament to her range.
A work by Meryl Tankard is always a highly anticipated event, and particularly with this her Sydney Dance Company debut. INUK 2 featured scenic design by long time creative partner Regis Lansac whose work for the stage is synonymous with Tankard’s finest achievements. Lighting Design for INUK 2 was created by Trudy Dalgleish.
Theatre Royal, Sydney
29 March – 19 April, 2008
Canberra Theatre Centre
7 – 10 May, 2008
The Arts Centre, Melbourne
28 – 31 May, 2008
Meryl Tankard and dancers
Adam Blanch, Bradley Chatfield, Chylie Cooper, Emee Dillon, Connor Dowling, Sarah-Jayne Howard, Annabel Knight, Johanna Lee, Reed Luplau, Teagan Lowe, Veronica Mahon, Shane Placentino, Simon Turner, Kalman Warhaft, Chen Wen, Angus Woodyard
‘Meryl Tankard takes her place amongst those international choreographers who are giving new life to dance.’ – Frankfurter Allegemeine
‘Meryl Tankard… astonishing, superb, disconcerting.’ – Le Figaro Magazine