Excerpts From The Production: About
ZEY (PRONOUNCED ZAY)
Zey is the cool breeze that comes from the south. For Kris this suggested female characteristics – gentle, calm, alluring – capturing you and causing your body and mind to relax as it responds to the gentleness of this breeze. This dance is matched to the colour blue to enhance the cool character of this wind and its fluid texture. When Zey is blowing, people take time to relax, to prepare for the next change of wind. The female solo dancer creates soft movements that move with a gentle breath, and without any sudden interruption.
KUKI (PRONOUNCED COOK-IE)
Kukiis the wind of the tropical storms and rough seas that blow from January to April; it’s the northwest wind, dominating and aggressive. Kris sees this wind as black in colour, due to the dark and threatening nature of its behaviour. During the time this wind blows, the tides are high and people don’t go out in their boats. At the same time people welcome this wind as it brings a great deal of rainfall, replenishing fresh water supplies. The rainfall generated by Kukiis seen as cleansing, and having medicinal properties. The choreography in this section involves many different levels of movement to depict Kuki’s turbulent nature.
NAIGAI (PRONOUNCED NAI-GAI)
This is the calmest wind. When Naigai blows you can hear the birds sing and the people chatting as they prepare to go fishing for turtle and dugong. There is no need to resist this wind as it carries boats out and back with the tide. It allows the energies to settle. People feel like they are in the presence of something like royalty such is the regal nature of this delicate wind. The colour that bathes this wind is silver to depict its sparkling glorious nature.
SAGER (PRONOUNCED SA-GERR)
Sager is the turbulent wind that causes the sea’s waves to swell and the sea foam or spume to build up near the shore. It comes from the southeast and is strong and gusty – it is impatient and persistent. This is a good wind to use to travel out in boats to go fishing or pearl diving, or travelling between islands. The dancers are costumed in chalky white to represent the dust and the sand that Sager collects along its journey.
THE HUMAN PRESENCE
Elma Kris appears between the sections and at the beginning and end of the work to represent the special relationship between the people and the four winds. Kris’ role provides the continuous presence of the Torres Strait people – past, present and future – their unique coexistence with the winds and the importance of their knowledge of the winds’ natures.
HOW DO THE DANCES TELL THE STORIES ABOUT THE WINDS
To create the choreography, Kris drew on her traditional dance knowledge and developed new movement language that expressed how she felt as she explored these four winds. The colours that Kris chose to represent each wind’s character illustrate her personal response to the winds and help the viewer share her interpretations.
Kris worked with the dancers to create the choreography, asking them to think about how they watch the wind, how it makes them feel; looking at the shapes and movements of the clouds, the ripples on the water and how the light hits the land and the sea when the different winds blow. She encouraged the dancers to talk to the winds with their movements and imagine the impact of the winds through their various dance dynamics.