Australia’s renowned physical theatre company, Legs On The Wall will bring death-defying beauty to the current climate crisis with the premiere of THAW, as a feature of the 2022 Sydney Festival program.
Taking place across three days (Fri 14 – Sun 16 January 2022), THAW depicts the very real peril of climate change with a solo performer atop a 2.7tonne iceberg, suspended 20metres above the waters of Sydney Harbour, from the foot of the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Alone on the ice, the woman scrambles to protect the colossal structure from the elements and the industrial crane that seems to toy with them both. Audiences are invited to gather and witness as the ice erodes beneath her in real-time over 10 hours each day, thawing in Sydney’s summer heat.
“THAW is an artful statement on climate change and our shared sense of urgency for action,” said Legs On The Wall’s Artistic Director Joshua Thomson.
“It speaks of our connectivity and responsibility to the natural world and calls on us to work together towards a sustainable future.”
THAW will deliver powerful resonance as it delights and provokes audiences. Unable to look away as her fate hangs in the balance, this work invites us to grapple with our own role in the climate emergency and define our collective obligation to a sustainable future inspired by the performer’s determination to survive.
Sydney Festival is working closely with Legs On The Wall and Sydney Opera House on activities associated with THAW that invite audiences to take real-world action towards climate justice.
When: Fri 14, Sat 15, Sun 16 January 2022, as a part of Sydney Festival
Start time: 10 am
Final act from 7:30 pm
Finish time: 8.30 pm
About Legs On the Wall
Legs On The Wall (Legs) has a 35-year story defined by daring, awe, heart and calculated risk. Their successes see have made them Australia’s leading physical theatre company with global renown. Legs artists craft stories through inimitable teaming of dance, theatre, circus, sport, street arts, music, film, spectacle, experimental, installation, and other art forms.
Working with Australia’s best physical and non-physical artists, and international collaborators, with a mandate to support and promote first nations artists the world over. With more than 700,000 people having experienced Legs’ work first hand, their work appeals to a broad audience across barriers of language, socio-economic status, and more.
Since the appointment of Joshua Thomson as Artistic Director in 2018, Legs has flourished with a renewed focus on telling relevant and powerful stories with physical metaphors. Interactive intergenerational trampoline work HIGHLY SPRUNG was experienced by over 9000 people in suburban Australia (Sydney Festival, Bleach Festival, Art and About), and remote Australia (Karratha’s Red Earth Arts Festival), as well as internationally (Santiago a Mil).
2018/2019 saw Indigenous-led aerial work Man With The Iron Neck [MWTIN] premiere for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin major arts Festivals in Australia, receiving exceptional reviews & standing ovations. Above all, Legs are determined to tell transformative and empowering stories in forms that will thrill and resonate with audiences.
About Sydney Festival
Each January, Sydney Festival presents bold and memorable experiences that ignite, unite, and excite the city of Sydney. More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival reflects Sydney’s personality, while audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practise in Australia and as one of the most wonderful arts festivals in the world.
The Festival of Sydney, as it was known in its inaugural year of 1977, was conceived by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney to attract Sydneysiders into the city centre during the holiday month of January.
It has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest annual cultural celebrations with an international reputation for modern, popular and intelligent programming. Sydney Festival celebrates the city, and the Festival’s style and energy reflect the confidence, diversity and vigour of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
The Festival has a rich history of bringing the world’s best artists and companies to Sydney stages and showcasing and nurturing the best of Australia’s homegrown talent.
THAW is performed by three artists throughout the period of a day.
THE WOMAN performed and co-devised by Victoria Hunt, Vicki Van Hout, and Isabel Estrella
CREATOR Joshua Thomson
COMPOSER Matthew Burtner (Alaska, Turtle Island/USA)
COSTUME DESIGNER Aleisa Jelbart
1st CRANE OPERATOR / PERFORMANCE RIGGER David Jackson
CREATIVE PRODUCER Cecily Hardy
CONSULTING DRAMATURG Liesel Zink
IMPACT PRODUCER Sophia MarinosThis premiere is supported by Sydney Festival and Australia Council for the Arts. Creative Development supported by Sydney Festival, Brisbane Festival and the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals. Legs On The Wall is supported by Create NSW.