Alien travelator dance show trucks to Fringe Festival

The bed of a 40-foot truck - the type designed to move large shipping containers - seems an unusual setting for an evening of contemporary dance.

But Future Cargo, by director David Rosenberg and choreographer Frauke Requardt, doesn't stop there, adding a massive travelator and some alien encounters.

"It's a really fun show and and it's not just for the serious dance appreciators. It's very accessible to people," said Rosenberg of the event which premieres at Adelaide Fringe on Friday.

The duo had been intrigued by the cultural phenomenon of UFO sightings, more common in the 1950s and '60s than today, and the performance harks back to old-school science fiction.

It starts with a mystery shipment from an unknown location, with reports of fireballs and power surges, and electromagnetic waves, before some otherworldly visitors emerge, to encounter everyday things such as dogs and pot plants.

The performance is an invitation to reflect on the unknown - not just about the possibility of alien life, but the mysteries of human life too, says Requardt.

Rosenberg and Requardt have been working together since 2010, making works in public outdoor spaces in the hope that taking contemporary dance outside theatres will attract a wider audience.

A dancer in the Future Cargo production
The show's creators were inspired by classic science fiction.

They hit on the idea for a dance staged on a trailer in 2012, while staging a performance at a car show, when they saw some massive car transporters and wondered what their potential might be.

Not only is Future Cargo staged in, around and on top of a giant trailer, a giant travelator is installed on the truck bed, so dancers are continually moving across it as they perform.

The audience also listens to the soundtrack through headphones that provide 360-degree binaural sound, which Rosenberg believes allows for intense focus - something that is sometimes lost in outdoor performances, he says.

A performer in the dance show Future Cargo
Future Cargo may travel around Australia if the Adelaide shows are a success.

Future Cargo has toured the UK and Europe and if its run at the Adelaide Fringe is a success, an Australian tour could be in the works.

Rosenberg and Requardt agree the back of a truck is a crazy environment for a contemporary dance performance, and Rosenberg promises that all is not what it seems to the audience.

"From the outside looking in, it's very serene and graceful, but actually inside the container, all hell is breaking loose continually," he said.

Future Cargo is produced by Realscape, the team behind shipping-container theatre experience Darkfield.

It will run at Adelaide Fringe until March 17.

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