Recently I spoke to Australian contemporary dancer and choreographer JAMES WELSBY whose work HEX explores the legacy and impact of the 80s AIDS crisis through the lens of the generation that was born in its wake. Combining contemporary dance with queer club performance, HEX provides an experience of both celebration and reflection; it is a tribute to those who have been lost, but also a celebration of the community they shaped, and which continues to grow.
HEX is an allegorical piece that acknowledges and unearths the inherited grief and fear of post-AIDS generation; a fear that has become a sort of subconscious oppressor – the one that takes control over the body and manifests itself in heavy, constrained, inhibited, silenced, subdued, passionless, even apathetic form.
Almost ritualistically HEX brings this lifeless body and fear into the spotlight and onto the stage only to burn them into the ashes and allow for the new, liberated body to (re)emerge.
With nostalgia HEX looks back onto the pre-AIDS era when joy, passion and exuberance took the stage (literally the stage of the late 70s Saturday Night Fever disco) and invites for their triumphant return.