REVIEW: ‘Awake’ is worth getting up early for

Awake invites audiences to witness the sun rise over Cleveland Bay.

There’s a special kind of reverence in being alone, together. A significance in witnessing something glorious and fleeting unfold and then vanish forever.

Awake invites you to relish such an experience.

The concept is a simple one: watch the sun rise over Cleveland Bay while listening, through headphones, to a score devised especially for the occasion.

In fact, the experience itself is a simple one; and yet it embraces all the complexities and unpredictability of nature.

In modern life, it is rare to take pause and watch an entire sunrise without distraction. It seems rich and luxurious to do so. Set to a score devised by Tom Snowdon and Willaris. K, and which clearly draws its inspiration from the natural sounds of North Queensland life, Awake transforms the morning sky into a living canvas. Audiences (if you can call them that) are treated to an intimate shared experience and, yet, one that will be entirely personal.

Cocooned in headphones and a darkness slowly cracking open, it’s easy to forget you’re surrounded by people. Instead, I found myself delighting in all the curiosities of the morning:
Where do those seagulls go with such purpose?
How long will this rippling water be tinted in such an enchanting pink?
Does nature know she’s creating such divinely layered textures?
Is this the highpoint of today’s sunrise?
Is this?
Is this?

The beauty of this work is that it will never be the same: Not from day to day, nor from person to person.

You can only experience it for yourself.


Awake was produced in collaboration with Dancenorth as part of the 2020 North Australian Festival of the Arts and runs daily until 31 October. Entry is free, but bookings are essential.

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