Forklifts may not be the first thing you'd associate with a contemporary dance performance, but later this month Toyota's newest forklift truck will feature in a breathtaking dance-acrobatic performance on Queensland's Gold Coast as part of the Bleach Festival.
The just-launched battery-electric Toyota 8FBE forklift will star in Forklift by acclaimed Melbourne-based performance company KAGE in four free performances on 11 and 12 March at Kurrawa Surf Lifesaving Club.
The 30-minute piece made its world premiere at the Sydney Festival in 2014 before being presented at Arts Centre Melbourne. It had a European premiere in Helsinki, Finland, in May 2015.
Devised in Australia and developed at Cirko - Center for New Circus in Helsinki, the dance-circus performance features contortion, aerial acrobatics and original music.
It combines the talents of contortionist and hand balancer Anna Murray, circus and theatre performer Nicci Wilks and dancer and contortionist Amy Macpherson.
"Forklift re-imagines the possibilities of machinery into a playful and dangerous sphere, contrasting the lightness of limbs with hard edges and heavy metal," says KAGE's Artistic Director and Forklift Director Kate Denborough.
"The performance was wonderfully received when it premiered in Australia as well as in Europe, so we're excited to be bringing it to the Gold Coast this month as part of the Bleach Festival."
Toyota Material Handling Australia's executive vice president and chief operating officer Steve Takacs said Forklift was the company's first on-stage involvement with the performing arts.
"We are thrilled to be part of an edgy piece of dance-theatre that is returning to Australia after a successful overseas tour," he said.
"The workplace is, of course, quite different to the theatre, however, there can be art in material handling. It is a joy to watch a top-notch operator manoeuvring a forklift in a confined area," Mr Takacs said.
Forklift will be performed at 6.00pm and 8.00pm on 11 and 12 March. For more information about the performance and the Bleach Festival visit: www.bleachfestival.com.au/events/forklift.
Note: Photo credit for 'KAGE backbend' is: Justin Bernhaut