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GENETRIX

2019

 
 

Genetrix is an international collaboration between Victoria Chiu (Aus/Chinese heritage), Jozsef Trefeli (Australian born/Hungarian heritage/based in Switzerland) and Rudi Van Der Merwe (South African/Dutch heritage/based in Switzerland). Three solos are presented as an anthology of personal and problematic family histories from two generations ago, where each artist is confronted by information, stories, and memory.

Chiu's grandfather was raised as a girl to protect him from death as all his older male siblings died in infancy. Then as the patriarch of the family he gave Chiu a boy's Chinese name. Trefeli never met his grandfather who was a farmer, fisherman and musician. In WW2 he was enlisted, and lost almost half his body weight in a POW camp. He survived and walked back to Hungary to rebuild his body, their lives and their country. Van der Merwe was close to his grandmother. As a young girl in the 30's, she became infatuated with a visiting German submarine officer (not her later husband) who, once widowed, she began talking about in her later years. This story mirrors the greater narrative of Afrikaners fatal attraction to populism and fascism in the decades following the South African war (1899-1902).

In an immersive cinema setting, created in collaboration with video artists Hana Miller and Jacob Perkins of RDYSTDY, the shared theatre space becomes an unresolved space of homage and resistance as each artist creates their own ritual for accessing their inherited selves.

 
 

Choreography: Victoria Chiu, Jozsef Trefeli, Rudi Van Der Merwe
Performers: Victoria Chiu, Jozsef Trefeli, Rudi Van Der Merwe
Video: RDYSTDY - Hana Miller and Jacob Perkins
Music: Roland Cox, Beatrice Graf, Cathie Travers
Lights: Kris Chainey
Costumes: Harriet Oxley
Set & Accessories: Cate Consandine

With support from Dancehouse Melbourne Australia, le Centre Mittleren de Bonn Germany, Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève MEG Switzerland & Műhely Alapitvány Budapest Hungary.