So, I have this friend called Oscar. Or Panda. Or Pandasaurus Rex. Really it depends on who you’re talking to. Whatever you call him, he’s a total firecracker – a tightly wound ball of electricity, hyperactivity and sensitivity packed into a 5ft human body.
I first met him through friends here in Brisbane, dressed in black leather hot pants, some sort of harness/waistcoat thing, and a face covered in silver paint. I think there may have been nipple clamps and a gimp mask involved, it’s a hazy, tequila-fueled memory now. I wasn’t sure whether to embrace him or freak out and run away. I’m so glad I chose the former, because gosh there was a rare bloke underneath that – one of the loveliest guys I know.
As is always the case with my most gifted friends, he had to leave this big old country town for places more receptive to his unique performances, influenced by his years of intensive training in Japan. He’s in Melbourne now, and I’m so pleased to say it’s worked out for him.
Tonight is closing night of his new dance theatre production SHIFT, of which he is both the director and performer, and it’s a hit! I’m not even having to write this because I want to help him sell tickets, they’re almost all gone anyway! I’m just shedding light on the little package of eccentric sweetness that is my friend Panda because I’m so damn proud of him.
SHIFT is an all-encompassing blend of neotribal dance and exploratory theatre that confronts the human need for conflict, and the effect it has on our culture. The quirky Collingwood Underground Theatre (previously a car park) is the perfect venue for such an intimate and intense performance. Every seat gets a different view as the action swirls around the concrete posts, accompanied by a musical soundtrack of human heartbeats, human breath and dub step. Sounds incredible, amiright?
Commitments here mean I can’t get down to Melbourne to see it, but luckily WRUFFnTUMBLE have produced a little teaser to give me an idea of what I’m missing:
If you like what you see, let them know. Maybe we can turn this little gem into a travelling show!