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Climate change brought to forefront with The Stars Descend performance in Northcliffe

Melissa PedeltyManjimup-Bridgetown Times
The Stars Descend principal performers Russell Thorpe and Janine Oxenham.
Camera IconThe Stars Descend principal performers Russell Thorpe and Janine Oxenham. Credit: Christopher Young

A unique stage performance using contemporary dance to depict the fears of climate change is coming to Northcliffe in two weeks as a part of a Statewide tour.

Award-winning choreographer and dancer Annette Carmichael is set to bring her The Stars Descend show to Northcliffe on March 19, which will be used to show the realities of the global crisis and urge audiences to join the fight.

Set to be held at Canterbury Farm in Northcliffe, the performance will mark one of five across the State — including in Margaret River, Porongurup, Fitzgerald Biosphere and Kalgoorlie — as part of Carmichael’s Distributed 15 project, which also incorporates ecological change into workshops.

Local producer Diana Moss said she is waiting in anticipation to bring this incredible performance to the small town of Northcliffe.

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“We’re working hard and having a good time but at the essence of it all we’re all so passionate about making that connection to why it’s important to look after our environment,” she said.

“We want this work to be inspirational and for people to take notice and care more.”

Performed by professional artists Russell Thorpe and Janine Oxenham and local community members, the show is set to showcase the biodiversity of the region.

“We’ve got a mixture of people from teachers to wildlife carers and physiotherapists... a lot of them haven’t ever danced before and it’s been beautiful to watch people’s confidence in themselves and their ability to move their bodies better,” she said.

“Our part of the story is about how the orchids emerge out of the forest after a fire and so there’s that beautiful representation going on.

“We’re joined by two professional dancers who are the stars that descend and they perform in every chapter but our chapter is complete within itself and is about the beauty that emerges after something quite catastrophic like a fire.”

Ms Moss said there is a star cast behind the performance, including First Nations consultant Suzanne Kelly, choreographer Chrissie Parrott, sound designer Dave Mann, visual designer Peter Hill and costume designer Sky River and Symantha Parr.

Choreographer and producer Annette Carmichael said the Stars Descend tells a contemporary story that is inspired and informed by consultation with First Nations Elders, scientists, artists and ecological groups.

“It is co-created by some of Western Australia’s most impactful artists and will be performed by local people who care about the incredible ecology of their community,” she said.

“The aim of this project is to create extraordinary memories that will transform how people see and care for country.”

Tickets can be purchased online at Humanitix and includes tickets to the performance itself and inclusion in the community celebration afterwards at The Painted Tree Gallery, Northcliffe Visitor Centre.

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