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Image by Jeff Busby

Reframe the debate

SICK is a landmark dance collaboration between Australia’s foremost provocateur of contemporary dance and choreography, Phillip Adams, and award winning contemporary dancer and performer, Ryan New. Join them for this one-of-a-kind cross-generational dance and multi-media performance.

SICK provides complicated critiques pervading notions and expectations of artists with disability, in an attempt to reframe the debate. Beyond a definition of physical and mental illness, ‘sick’ contains both negative and positive associations. For Ryan, a person with autism, ‘sick’ implies an impulse to act out of the ordinary with his body and thoughts; to arrange things the way he feels and sees them. Phillip and Ryan turn the negative on its head, taking inspiration in the slang connotations of the word ‘sick’ as ‘cool’ or ‘fabulous’.

Phillip and Ryan work together to meld their disparate quirks, foibles, histories and limitations into a piece filled with dark humour, radical sentiment, sharp social commentary and ever-present dysfunction. SICK speaks about the beauty and awkwardness of moving and failing, as Phillip and Ryan put their mismatched bodies on the line to create this uniquely framed, personally exposing quest for shared grace.

Choreographic quirk is accentuated by the glam-shock meets rhinestone-biker-trash aesthetics of visual artist Jake Preval’s design; a psychedelic gnome garden further sets the scene of Ryan’s indefatigable and visionary imagination.

SICK’s debut at Midsumma Festival at Temperance Hall will move audiences through an entertaining and immersive shared visceral experience, purposely designed to shift perceptions around the capabilities of artists – and everyone – with disability.

"I have lived with autism since birth and that has helped me to understand what is real and what isn’t. I want to tell my story in my way, to simplify everything and be livelier with emotions and expressions."
— Ryan New

Images by Jeff Busby

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Event & ticketing details

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Tactile tour Tactile Tour
Relaxed Performance
English No Barrier

Dates & Times

WHEN 9-12 Feb | Wed-Sat 7:30pm
TACTILE 12 Feb 6:45pm
AUSLAN 10 Feb: 7:30pm
RELAXED 10 Feb 7:30pm
TALK Post-show Q+A: 11 Feb 8:30pm


FULL $30.00
CONC $25.00
EARLY BIRD 15% off if purchased prior to 13 December


Temperance Hall

199 Napier St, South Melbourne

Get directions


1 to stop 24 | 12 to stop 129

Event notes


Premiere, New Work



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