Sue Peacock Reflects

Posted by Fiona de Garis, December 21st, 2012

Words: Sue Peacock Director/ Choreographer for Reflect 

Two weeks development with six dancers, (Aisling Donovan, Kynan Hughes, Bernadette Lewis, Jenni Large, Storm Helmore and Tyrone Robinson) two dancers on secondment, (Yilin Kong and Tony Currie) a sound artist (Ben Taaffe) a video artist/designer (Andrew Lake) and me. Quite a lot of people in the room.

“Choreography is a form of writing along the boundary between presence and no longer being there: an inscription of the memory of that moving body whose presence cannot otherwise be maintained.” Gabriella Brandstetter ReMembering the Body Hatje Cantz 2000 p.104

Perhaps a curly statement, but I try to remember that at the heart of it is a firm belief (mine) in the ability of the body to communicate, simply, powerfully, and if organised in the right way- dancing and only dancing can be understood by anyone on a level other than language.

I remind myself of En Attendant (Anna Theresa de Keersmaker) a recent work that does just that… that asks a lot of the audience… to wait… to listen… to travel with the dancers. It was completely uncompromising and inspiring in this determination to stay.

Is this what we are trying to do?

We spend the first three days re-learning the 40 minutes of material that have already been constructed. Ben plays a multitude of sound possibilities and Andrew videos everything. We watch hours of footage every night…  perhaps this bit could go with that…

Humphrey comes in on Monday to help us with some text ideas and provide some dramaturgical feedback, Fenn arrives for a quick look and there is a photo-shoot on Tuesday. WOW

But we have only just started… Christophe arrives and somehow the photos are funny and ridiculous and I wonder where the ’art’ went? We laughed a lot and then there were 2000 photos to choose from. WOW

Reflect Photo: Christophe Canato

How do these images fit with this serious and mostly sad work? What happens when I put them in the middle of things? Does it make the sadness more bearable? Why is it so sad?

“People everywhere-under very different conditions-are asking themselves- where are we? The question is historical not geographical. What are we living through? Where are we being taken? What have we lost? How to continue without a plausible vision of the future? Why have we lost any view of what is beyond a lifetime?” John Berger Hold Everything Dear Dispatches on Survival and Resistance, Verso 2007 p.36

This is not really what I am trying to say- but it is interesting. So is the text and what it does to the movement. It makes me engage with it in a different way. Sometimes I am not sure whether different is better or just new. Humphrey provides another view and the structure starts to slide. Don’t panic.

“Around each image others come into being, forming a field of analogues, symmetries, confrontations. Into the organisation of this material which is no longer purely visual but also conceptual, there now enters my deliberate intent to give order and sense to the development of the story; or rather what I do is try to establish which meanings are not compatible, always leaving a certain margin of possible alternatives.” Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millenium Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1988 p.89

Memory, remembering what does it look like? How does it occur? It is more about the process of remembering, the emotional resonance. This is embedded in the structure, buried. The emotion is not expressed directly, or acted rather it is a surge of energy, a physicality.

The movement is personal and specific but not narrative or particularly emotive. I am still curious about how the text redefines things. Ben plays so many options I can’t make a decision and Andrew is rendering…. remember de Keersmaker.

We laugh a lot… the dancers are amazing and continually surprise me. Everyone’s generosity and honesty should be acknowledged. We work hard, Wednesday Thursday Friday and there is finally a whole structure to work with and I can start to answer questions. We can begin to define the various arcs of sound and image. The days seem to alternate good and not so good, clear and less clear. This continues irrespective of sleep and coffee. Saturday and there are only two days left. WOW

Is this what we are trying to do?

I am reminded of Jonathon Burrows talking about grant writing and the need to explain what you are going to do before you know what that is exactly. Before we started I had no clue that we would end up here… and I thought about it a lot. I suppose it’s a question of process – the decision to leave the map behind or not.

Two weeks is enough time to re-learn the material, to fiddle with it a bit, to ask a lot of questions and to realise there is still even more work to do. Every now and then there is a single moment of clarity that is enough to convince you to continue. I loved that it was so much fun. Thanks to everyone.

The quotes come from various applications I have written to find support for/ justify the work. The rest could be described as ‘the parrott on your shoulder”.

Reflect Photo: Christophe Canato

Reflect // 3 – 11 May 2013
Sue Peacock
Studio Underground State Theatre Centre of Western Australia
Tickets on sale in January  through

Place des Anges Photo: Jarrad Seng

Perth Votes! Top 3 shows of 2012 and Top Artists/Companies to watch in 2013

Posted by Fiona de Garis, December 17th, 2012

There’s nothing like a bit of top pickin’ action to end the year.

Last week we invited an eclectic cross-section of the Perth arts community to nominate their top three performance experiences of 2012 and an artist/company to watch in 2013.

With an overwhelming number of artists in next year’s Fringe World, Summer Nights and Perth Festival programs, perhaps this list will help you decide which local acts to support. Big thanks to our guest bloggers for taking the time to share their top shows.

Who is your top artist/company to watch in 2013? Let us know your thoughts via our facebook page.

Happy Holidays!
Sarah Rowbottam,
 Associate Producer

Ella Hetherington, Adriane Daff, James Berlyn, Danielle Micich, Kynan Tan, Peter Fares, Side Pony ProductionsBarking Gecko Theatre Company, Aracaladanza (Spain), Perth Theatre Company, Proximity, Weeping Spoon Productions, pvi collective, The Blue Room Theatre, The Nest Ensemble and Wet Weather Ensemble.

The Wives of Hemingway Photo: David Collins
The Wives of Hemingway Side Pony Productions Photo: David Collins

Place des Anges Les Studios de Cirque
presented by The Perth International Arts Festival
Co-curated by James Berlyn and Sarah Rowbottam
presented as part of The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights Festival and Fringe World
It’s Dark Outside  Tim Watts, Arielle Gray and Chris Isaacs
presented by Perth Theatre Company
On the Misconception of Oedipus  Matthew Lutton, Tom Wright and Zoe Atkinson
presented by Malthouse Theatre and Perth Theatre Company

Glory Hole Beard (Jackson Eaton)
Glory hole beard Jackson Eaton Proximity Festival 2012 Photo: Ashley de Prazer


Amy Barrett-Lennard Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts Director
Lucinda Childs Dance Company
Blackbird Perth Theatre Company
The Museum of Now Mt Lawley Senior High School students in collaboration with James Berlyn, Tristan Parr, Lloyd Godman and Josh Hogan
Who to watch in 2013 James Berlyn (heads to Sydney Festival in Jan to perform Tawdry Heartburn’s Manic Cures).

Henry Boston Australian Business Arts Foundation WA Director
Place des Anges Les Studios de Cirque
Raoul La Compagnie du Hanneton
The Reef TURA New Music and Australian Chamber Orchestra
Who to watch in 2013 Ella Hetherington (starts the year with Duck, Death and the Tulip at Perth Festival).

Grant Capriotti & Lauren Elliott Muse Bureau Directors 
On the Misconception of Oedipus Malthouse Theatre and Perth Theatre Company
The Year of Magical Wanking This is Pop Baby (Ireland)
PICA Salon Vernissage Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
Who to watch in 2013 Adriane Daff – Wonderful talent and a gorgeous face. Her new fringe show The Wives of Hemingway looks incredible.

Jessica Darlow ARTRAGE Program Coordinator 
Dr Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger Slow Clap Productions
Oraculos Teatro de los Sentidos
지하 Underground Motherboard Productions
Who to watch in 2013 
Side Pony Productions (premieres The Wives of Hemingway in Fringe World).

Rick Heath Push Management Director
An Act of Now Anouk Van Dijk Chunky Move
Place des Anges Les Studios de Cirque
Food Force Majeure and Belvior

Honourable mentions
Fleck and Flecker Ludwig
Try Hard Steps Youth Dance Company
Two One Another Sydney Dance Company
Who to watch in 2013 
Danielle Micich

Talei Howell-Price Stages WA Director 
I (honestly) Love You Lockwood Productions
When the Rain Stops Falling Black Swan State Theatre Company
Tender Napalm Perth Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2013 Wet Weather Ensemble (premiere Birdboy as part of the Summer Nights PICA program and Fringe World).


John Hyde MLA Member for Perth Shadow Minister for Culture and the Arts; Local Government; Heritage; Multicultural Interests and Citizenship
Proximity (Program B – Nikki Jones, Hellen Russo, Janet Carter, Russya Connor) Co-curated by James Berlyn and Sarah Rowbottam
Boundaries West Australian Symphony Orchestra
The Fremantle Candidate Deckchair Theatre
Who to watch in 2013 The Blue Room Theatre consistently produces surprising new work by locals (check out the 2013 Summer Nights program).

PJ Kinder Buzz Dance Theatre Chair
Place des Anges Les Studios de Cirque
Fragile Buzz Dance Theatre
More Fun Than A Wii The Listies
Who to watch in 2013 
Peter Fares (performs in Buzz Dance Theatre’s Look the Other Way at The Dolphin Theatre and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre).

Anna Kosky Perth International Arts Festival Production Coordinator
It’s Dark Outside Tim Watts, Arielle Gray, Chris Isaacs and Perth Theatre Company
Oraculos Teatro de los Sentidos
Driving into Walls Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2013 Perth Theatre Company. Barking Gecko Theatre Company are making waves nationally and internationally, now it’s PTC’s time.

Philippa Maughan Country Arts WA  Manager Performing Arts Touring 
If there was a colour darker than black, I’d wear it Rising Damp Youth Theatre and Illuminart
Driving into walls Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Boy Gets Girl Adam Mitchell Black Swan State Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2013: Barking Gecko Theatre Company

Kelli Mccluskey pvi collective artist & co-founder
Super Night Shot Gob Squad
Proximity Co-curated by James Berlyn and Sarah Rowbottam
Thrashing Without Looking Aphids
Who to watch in 2013 Kynan Tan

Kathryn Osborne The Duck House Theatre Director
miskien The Pink Couch and Fringe World
It’s Dark Outside Tim Watts, Arielle Gray, Chris Isaacs and Perth Theatre Company
Persona Fraught Outfit and Theatre Works, Melbourne
Who to watch in 2013 I’m excited about the local interactive works being produced in 2013 and those artists involved in Proximity and Pollyanna by Weeping Spoon Productions.

Kerry O’Sullivan The Blue Room Theatre Executive Director 
Proximity Co-curated by James Berlyn and Sarah Rowbottam
…miskien The Pink Couch
It’s Dark Outside Tim Watts, Arielle Gray, Chris Isaacs and Perth Theatre Company

Honourable mentions 
The Polite Gentleman theMOXYcollective
On the Misconception of Oedipus Malthouse Theatre and Perth Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2013 
Perth Theatre Company  is infinitely interesting and from the independents I would say Night Train Productions.

Hannah Rule RTRFM 92.1 Development Manager – Arts and Culture 
On the Misconception of Oedipus Malthouse Theatre and Perth Theatre Company
Onqoto and Parabelo Grupo Corpo
Eve The Nest Ensemble
Who to watch in 2013 The Nest Ensemble

Sarah Weber Perth Theatre Company Operations Manager
On The Misconception of Oedipus Malthouse Theatre and Perth Theatre Company
Beautiful Burnout Frantic Assembly and the National Theatre of Scotland
Boy Girl Wall The Escapists
Who to watch in 2013 I am very excited that Perth Theatre Company will be working with Fleur Elise Noble in 2013. Fleur is an award-winning visual artist, who combines drawing, performance, puppetry and other artforms into something completely new and I cannot wait to see what her new work will look like.

Laetitia Wilson Independent Writer and Assistant Professor UWA, Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts
Super Night
Shot Gob Squad
  (Proximity) James Berlyn
Thrashing Without Looking Aphids
Who to watch in 2013 pvi collective

Jenny Vila Barking Gecko Theatre Company Associate Producer  
Political Mother Hofesh Shechter Company (UK/Israel)
Place des Anges by Les Studios de Cirque (France)
Raoul James Thiérrée (France)
Who to watch in 2013 Barking Gecko Theatre Company (start their season with Duck, Death and the Tulip at Perth Festival) and Aracaladanza Spain (head to Perth to present Clouds).


Featured image: Place des Anges Photo courtesy of Jarrad Seng and Perth International Arts Festival


Dance Board announces second year WACDI Funding

Posted by Fiona de Garis, December 4th, 2012

We are very excited to hear this morning that The Dance Board has announced the second year of WACDI funding! Two $50,000 grants will be awarded in 2013.

The Western Australia Contemporary Dance Initiative enables dance artists to apply for one or more development stages of a single work.  Individual artists, companies and other organisations are eligible to apply.

The aim of this Initiative is to provide improved support by the Dance Board for the contemporary dance sector in Western Australia. The Initiative aims to build on the existing activity and funding in the sector and the Dance Board’s first year of the initiative. The Dance Board acknowledges the work undertaken by the sector in recent years to develop the Future Moves strategies and the investment in these by the Department of Culture and the Arts, Western Australia.

Last year the Dance Board were able to support a wide range of dance activities by Western Australian based dance artists such as Dawn Jackson, Danielle Micich, Rhiannon Newton, and Ludwig Pty Ltd. We were thrilled Sue Peacock received WACDI Funding for production and presentation of new dance work, Reflect in the Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia in 2013.

The Australia Council invites applications to the 2013 Western Australia Contemporary Dance Initiative in the category of Projects Creative Development.
Applications close 8th February 2013.

Further information will be available via their website from the 10 December 2012.

For information and any questions relating to this initiative, please contact:
Program Officer: Kiri Morcombe
Tel: 02 9215 9179