Night Shift is a durational performance inspired by Le Ballet de la Nuit, a 13-hour court ballet that was most notable for the involvement of the young Louis XIV, who performed many roles, including the title of the "Sun King". Danced throughout the night, the ballet acted as a performance with night (darkness) cast as a metaphoric plague on society. The dance is performed as an offering to call upon daylight, when the Sun King exiles the darkness, and the dawn (light) signifies a new beginning through the start of a new day. I have re-contextualized the ballet into a contemporary dance performance in which dancers endure from dusk until dawn, dancing and making gold confetti in anticipation of the new tomorrow. The dancers are given agency by having the ability to change the music in the piece using 14 original tracks, and moreover may speak to their audience using a microphone, yet speaking only in the collectivity of “we”. At dawn in celebration of the new day, the accumulated piles of gold confetti are thrown into the air and the piece ends. Night Shift evokes notions of labour and time within the context of night changing into day as the dancer’s body endures and asserts itself in the process of performing.
Created and conceived by Brendan Fernandes. Created with Michael Trent in collaboration with Dancemakers and the performers. Photographer, Toni Hafkenscheid. Original costumes, Vanessa Fischer. Original score, Thomas Ian Campbell.