This is a War Zone, Baby – Improvise!

war_zone-a4_phoenix1970. Aussie, strictly Kosher, recent ballet school graduate, seventeen year-young flamenco and jazz dancer, Aviva, goes to entertain the troops in Vietnam – with a rhythm and blues band.

What could possibly go wrong?

Aviva Sheb’a toured (South) Vietnam for three months. Her inability to readjust to life in Australia following her tumultuous tour led the dancer to travel widely and to live in several different countries.

Aviva’s survival and sanity-saving mechanism was – and remains – her art. She developed her own method of using voice and body as a way to express and integrate her deepest emotions. She coined the term, Vocal Dance, while working and living in Amsterdam in the 1970s. Her work as a performer and as a performance therapist has been embraced widely.

In 1996, Aviva began writing “This is a War Zone, Baby – Improvise!” and first performed it in the Adelaide Fringe, 2000. Since then, she has kept developing the show, performing various incarnations at festivals and conferences. The title comes from the exclamation she heard most on her tour. As it suggests, each show is different.

Kiama Municipal Council supported Aviva’s show (that time under the name, Shebada!) with a generous Cultural Contributions Grant. In 2013, Aviva’s show (back to the original name) was the first of the Make it @ Merrigong Studio Sessions, directed by Anne-Louise Rentell. In 2014, Anne-Louise and Aviva presented excerpts together at the International Oral History Congress in Barcelona.

Aviva is currently rehearsing a new version under the direction of UOW Creative Arts Faculty’s Dr. Janys Hayes. This time, audiences will laugh and cry with Aviva as she shares some of her experiences she has not performed in Wollongong before as well as showing the development of Vocal Dance. Those who wish will also have a chance to experience the joys of Vocal Dance.

Now that the Phoenix Theatre Company have ownership of the Bridge Street Theatre, they are hosting a season of “This is a War Zone, Baby – Improvise!”

October: Friday 21, Saturday 22 at 8pm, Sunday 23 at 3pm.  

Tickets: $15 www.phoenixtheatre.net.au/

Bridge Street Theatre, 24 Bridge Street,Coniston.  

See www.avivasheba.com for further insight into Aviva’s work.

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