Narcifixion: tapping into screen narcissism
FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres present Narcifixion—a dark and humorous dance work about narcissism in the online world.
Led by high-profile Australian independent dance artists and powerful performers, Anton (Legs On The Wall, Australian Dance Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre) and Brianna Kell (TasDance, Dance Makers Collective, DirtyFeet), Narcifixion is a pertinent, highly detailed and expansive contemporary dance duet, examining identity in the digital age.
Inspired by narcissistic behaviour epidemically prevalent across the screen space, the work follows physical characters in a constant state of exhibiting and observing themselves. Tragically, the majority of the audience who have been waiting in the foyer are entrenched in their phones before watching this performance—blissfully unaware of the existential impact it is having over them and other young people. This work is about to uncover the complexities of social media and the deep-rooted narcissism that goes with it all.
In utilising the materialistic elements of the simply set stage as props, the artists successfully convey the message of struggle in comprehending reality behind the screen. The audience is able to unpack the concept to a level of personal relevance as the thought of who one becomes on social media is evoked.
Pursuing character roles, the two performers demonstrate an exploration of the self and each other as they continue to utilise the space at hand, ‘fighting’ for attention in a world of high expectations. Maintaining separated placement for majority of the work, the differing movement displayed by the artists presents a sense of disconnection. For the audience, this level of disconnect ironically creates a sense of connection to the performers, who in this case happen to be portraying a common thought and action reaction for many in this day and age.
To create transparency of the key concepts presented, common motifs of everyday social media use are embedded among the work. Swiping, tapping, and posing are few of the actions that tend to prompt accidental narcissism online further personalising the message for the audience who are not alone in falling into this trap.
Making this hour long work so captivating is the continuous nature of unexpected movement. Having simple but varied lighting, props, and costumes with only two dancers on stage (at times only one moving) the audience is able to draw their attention to the presented plot, unpacking a story of their own as hinted by the performance itself.
This work is one that promotes deep self-reflection as it addresses an issue that has unintentionally become so present in modern day society with the evolving media world.