"The staging of Maninyas is directed by The Freestyle Orchestra, exploring the ideas of human connection, physically and musically, in its many forms (performer to performer, performer to audience) as well as the inextricable connection between music and movement that dates back to ancient times.
For this show, seven core members of The Freestyle Orchestra engage in an artistic exchange with Australian musicians and creatives, forming the #freestylesymphony. Movement is dictated by the music as we visualise it, exploring the emotions it conveys and seeing if we can amplify those physically - a natural extension of what we hear in particular sections of the music.
Very dance-like in places (for example Ross Edwards’ signature dance-chant), and very still and meditative in others (i.e. “inner” vs. “outer” dance), the work was written in and heavily influenced by the Australian natural environment and bush, evoking -- for example -- bird calls and insect sounds. In our staging, fire is used as a cleansing element, a function it has in both nature and ritual."
-The Freestyle Orchestra Program Notes
Note: in consultation with Edwards, to reflect the contrasting styles (maninyas vs. sacred), the central violin cadenza and middle "chorale" incorporated minimal movement and sombre lighting to represent inner stillness and reflection.