Joel Bray - photo by James Henry
A saccharine and at times sinister examination of the colonial condition

Joel Bray has daddy issues, and his insatiable cravings for father figures always leave him wanting more. Don’t tell his dentist, but Bray’s cravings are getting out of hand. 

He’s looking to live the sweet life yet the sugar hits of nostalgia and fantasy are all too short-lived and behind it all there’s a need that can never be sated. Daddy is the latest work from one of the most electric new figures in Australian dance. 

Here he probes one of the paradoxes of our age - when so much is on offer why are we left so hungry? From the sugar-coated idyll of childhood reminiscence to the glazed excesses of queer adulthood, Bray’s story proves that a sweet tooth is a dangerous thing. 

Short-lived highs give way to the inevitable comedowns before the cycle begins all over again. And like a kid in a candy store, an imperial hunger for Aboriginal Australia consumes all it encounters – land, women, and children – like fistfuls of sugar. 

Hilarious, provocative, and heartfelt this world premiere tickles the nerve endings of desire while prodding the cavities left by colonisation. Featuring Bray’s trademark confection of conversation, dance, and all-you-can-eat audience participation Daddy is a sweet feast with a deadly aftertaste.

Bray is a proud Wiradjuri dancer, writer, and performance-maker. Bray uses a contemporary toolbox to breathe life into ancient ritual practice to create work that surfs between spoken text and textured improvisation movement. 

His work is conversational and confessional and is often made for intimate settings that create unique person-to-person encounters between performer and audience. His work Biladurang (Best Performance 2017 Melbourne Fringe) is touring nationally. 

Trained at NAISDA and WAAPA, he was engaged as a technical and virtuosic dancer with companies in Europe and Israel, including Hofesh Shechter and Yoram Karmi. Bray is a dancer with Chunky Move since 2014.

Creator and Performer Joel Bray
Set & Costume James Lew
Composition & Sound Design Naretha Williams
Lighting & AV Design Katie Sfetkidis
Collaborating Director Stephen Nicolazzo
Collaborating Performer Niharika Senapati
Dramaturgy SJ Norman

Dates: 8 – 12 May 2019
Times: Preview 8.30pm Wed, 8.30pm Thu – Sat and 6.30pm Sun
Location: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
Address: 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $15 – $30 (plus transaction fee)
Bookings: or (03) 9322 3720

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