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Dark Mofo Has Just Added Three-Day Theatre-Meets-Rave Performance 'TRANCE' to Its Huge 2023 Program

The Tasmanian festival also scored a blend of sonic meditation and storytelling, plus a bigger show from Trentemøller.
By Sarah Ward
April 21, 2023
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By Sarah Ward
April 21, 2023
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If you're the kind of Dark Mofo attendee who slips into a different mindset the very moment that you hit Tasmania each winter, the festival has plenty on its 2023 lineup to get you into that mood and groove. It announced Florentina Holzinger's dance theatre performance  A Divine Comedy back in January, and then dropped its full dark, sinister, confronting and boundary-pushing lineup in March. The arts event isn't done with boosting its program yet, however — newly adding TRANCE to its bill, and openly inviting sliding into a reverie in the process.

Hailing from Berlin-based Chinese artist Tianzhuo Chen, this three-day performance isn't just something that you watch. You purchase a 'trance pass' to head along, which gives you access to the whole show across its run. Then, you can wander in and out as you like, seeing each day's 12-hour ritual — which is batched up in six two-hour chapters — in what's basically a physical theatre-meets-rave show.

TRANCE by Tianzhuo Chen | Dark Mofo 2023. Photo credit: Camille Blake. Image courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo.

Along the way, you'll notice nods to religious iconography and pop culture alike — and Butoh choreography as well — as things get psychedelic and transcendental. You'll also spot Tinazhuo's cast of characters go all-in on testing the body's corporeal limits.

(For that moseying along whenever you're keen, booking Concrete Playground Trips' Dark Mofo accommodation package might come in handy.)

COMMUNITY OF GRIEVING | Dark Mofo 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo.

TRANCE isn't the only new addition to the lineup, with Community of Grieving from Zosia Hołubowska and Julia Giertz similarly freshly on the bill. The European sound artists and music activists combine music and storytelling in a piece that's a a bit of sonic meditation and an audio essay, and also features theatrical costumes. As the name makes plain, it's a mourning ritual, specifically focusing on folks lost during the pandemic and since.

"The exploration of darkness is key to our identity as a festival, but at the heart of Dark Mofo is powerful ritual, collectivity and transformation," said Art Program Curator and Senior Producer Dexter Rosengrave, announcing this year's latest shows.

"We're really excited by these new additions to the program because they elicit an individual response that communally exalts us all."

Trentemøller | Dark Mofo 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo.

Run by Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art, and taking place in Hobart between Thursday, June 8–Thursday, June 22, Dark Mofo already named Trentemøller on its program back in March; however, that gig is one of three shows that were previously sold out but have now been moved to convert venue MAC2, upping their capacity to 2500 people. Accordingly, there's now extra tickets on sale for the electronic music composer, as well as to NYX's electronic drone choir soundscape event DO.OMYOGA: Nada Sound Ceremony (where you'll get yoga mats to sit on) and also Laterne by Berlin Atonal.

As for the rest of the already-unveiled bill, it includes The Blue Rose Ball, which does indeed take its cues from the one and only David LynchGiant Teddy, EJ Son's towering Korean pop culture-inspired teddy bear that has lasers for eyes; Max Richter's SLEEP, which returns to Australia for an eight-and-a-half-hour overnight stint; and Soda Jerk's latest film Hello Dankness. The list goes on from there, whether you're keen on live tunes, the kind of performance shows you won't see elsewhere or nude solstice swims.

NYX | Dark Mofo 2023. Photo credit: Garry Jones Photography. Image courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo.

Dark Mofo 2023 runs from Thursday, June 8–Thursday, June 22 in Hobart, Tasmania, with tickets on sale now.

Top images: TRANCE by Tianzhuo Chen | Dark Mofo 2023. Photo credit: Camille Blake. Image courtesy of the artist and Dark Mofo. // Laterne by Berlin Atonal | Dark Mofo 2023. Pictured: Lee Gamble presents Flush Real Pharynx at Laterne by Berlin Atonal 2019. Photo Credit: Dark Mofo/Rémi Chauvin, 2019. Image Courtesy Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

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Published on April 21, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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