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
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 // 3 – 11 May 2013 Sue Peacock
Studio Underground State Theatre Centre of Western Australia
Tickets on sale in January through www.ticketek.com.au
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.
Sarah Rowbottam, Associate Producer
NOMINATED ARTISTS/ COMPANIES TO WATCH IN 2013 Ella Hetherington, Adriane Daff, James Berlyn, Danielle Micich, Kynan Tan, Peter Fares, Side Pony Productions, Barking 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 Side Pony Productions Photo: David Collins
OVERALL TOP SHOWS OF 2012 Place des Anges Les Studios de Cirque
presented by The Perth International Arts Festival
ProximityCo-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 -TIED WITH- On the Misconception of Oedipus Matthew Lutton, Tom Wright and Zoe Atkinson
presented by Malthouse Theatre and Perth Theatre Company
Glory hole beardJackson Eaton Proximity Festival 2012 Photo: Ashley de Prazer
OUR GUEST BLOGGERS TOP PICKS !
Amy Barrett-LennardPerth Institute of Contemporary Arts Director
Dance 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 2013James 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 ReefTURA 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 DarlowARTRAGE 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 2013The Blue Room Theatre consistently produces surprising new work by locals (check out the 2013 Summer Nights program).
PJ KinderBuzz 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 KoskyPerth 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 Mccluskeypvi 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 TheatreDirector
…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 2013The 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
Sweetlife (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 2013Barking 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 AngesPhoto courtesy of Jarrad Seng and Perth International Arts Festival
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, Reflectin 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 Email: email@example.com Tel: 02 9215 9179
Performing Lines WA delivers the Managing and Producing Services for theatre and dance artists in WA (Maps for Artists), which is a joint initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s art funding and advisory body, and the State of Western Australia through the Department of Culture and the Arts.