‘Book them out.’ ‘Holiday here this year.’ ‘Holiday at home this year.’ All of those supportive campaigns that were uttered and written about to help save our tourism industry over this past year – all crucial.
I work in the travel and tourism industry, and I am a professional travel writer, so naturally, I embraced our local (and national) campaigns when we emerged from lockdown in Adelaide last year. And we are now really starting to see a brighter light (hopefully, no longer going on and off) at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Yes indeed, the travel-hungry are starting to pick the cobwebs from their itchy feet, particularly now with the vaccines being rolled out across the world.
For example, I used to cycle along the coastal bike path between North Haven and Brighton almost every weekend. But I never thought of checking into a hotel so close to home. And what surprised me last week, was how holidaying in my own backyard – just kilometres from my own home, felt almost as exotic as travelling somewhere afar. How?
Firstly, we went to see Guttered by the superb performers of Restless Dance Theatre - many of whom live with a form of disability. The show is inspiring. It's touching. And it near propels you off your seat with hypnotic beats pulsating as the dancers slide, bounce and leap across the lanes of Kingpin Norwood. Yes, unusually, the entire physical theatre dance performance takes place in a bowling alley, where the divide between performer and spectator becomes enticingly blurred.
The blurb of Restless Dance Theatre’s Guttered show states: "Well intentioned 'help' that smothers potential growth is something people with disability encounter all too often.” There was a strong focus on the importance of the dignity of risk. It’s how we grow, after all, is it not?
Performers wandered around us seated viewers, assessing our cards, and then ‘judged’ us (humorously) according to our self-rated scores. I was a risk taker with a score of 10. You should have seen the looks I got! But how would you have rated yourself, do you think?
The charming dancers offered internally lit bowling bags to our ears where words whispered: "Try harder… I am happy… I am not shy…” from behind their tightly secured zips. When a new musical score kicked in, they sped back to the lanes, some with us in tow, where we participated in taking a strike at the awaiting skittles. Right here, it was equal opportunities for all.
One captivating scene was where the movements of a performer were projected onto the chest of his own t-shirt as he watched on by looking down and analysing himself. It was a poignant moment for us all to look within, and consider our perceptions of risk, failure, growth and encouragement. It prompted us to consider: Can helpful become unhelpful? Can support become suffocation?
I do enjoy a performance that makes you think. We left the venue with our own bags of thoughts and questions - and a sprightly spring in our step.
Tickets can be obtained via: https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/events/guttered