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Interview with Antony Hamilton | Chunky Move

Posted by admin, July 22nd, 2014

World-renowned Australian choreographer Antony Hamilton’s work defies easy description. His company Antony Hamilton Projects brings together artists from across art forms, creating dance work that seamlessly integrates technology, visual arts and innovative design. He is currently on the road with Keep Everything, a work commissioned by Chunky Move tracing the path of human evolution from ape to robot and back again. It’s a collection of elements of previous works, creating meaning out of seemingly disparate elements. Performing Lines WA’s Thom Smyth (TS) got the lowdown from Antony (AH) ahead of their performance season at PICA from 23 – 26 July.

Keep Everything production shot

TS: How do you describe the kind of work you create?
AH: That’s hard to say, as the work tends to describe itself in ways that language cannot manage. Meaning lies in things that can sometimes not be spoken or written, however if one were pressed, I would say that the work I create is an ongoing stream of ideas, where the last work, and events in between that work and the next, inform a kind of chaotic progression of curiosities.

TS: Keep Everything has been described as a “scrapbook for the stage”. What can we expect when the lights go down at PICA?
AH: One can expect the unexpected I would say.

TS: How did you go about putting the show together? Did you find any broader themes or ideas emerging from piecing together fragments of other works?
AH: Yes, well despite my best intentions, a very humanist sort of organisation of the ideas started to happen. I found myself trying to make sense out of, and create meaning from items that by their very nature are in fact fairly meaningless. So the process started to reveal to me my own very human fixation on creating order out of chaos.

TS: How do you edit and tighten a show that seeks to ‘keep everything’?
AH: In the very same way that we edit and tighten our lives. In real life we are living in a kind of devised, fictional narrative of belief, and the same is neccessary for any creative work- you have to devise a fictional narrative that has an instinctive truth of some sort about it. Keep Everything is not in fact as fragmented as it sounds, but in a way has smoothly blended many ideas into an arc that explores meta-narratives of progress, history, myth and the utopia/dystopia dichotomy. Rehearsals are much like any other, being led by a kind of instinct towards a resolve.

TS: You worked closely with Kim Moyes and Julian Hamilton on the soundtrack. What are they like to work with? Is contemporary dance a particular interest of theirs, or was this a one-off collaboration?
AH: Well Julian’s my brother, so that places him pretty close to the dance world, having grown up together, him picking me up after ballet classes and all! Also, together Julian and Kim make dance music anyway, so it wasn’t such a difficult transfer to make. That being said, the music for the work is quite a different territory for them. Fairly atmospheric and less beat driven for the most part. It was a really great collaboration. Quite easy really because we know each other so well, and understand each other’s influences, interests and so on.

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TS: You were over here in Perth recently leading workshops for Strut Dance. How do local WA dancers compare to other dancers you work with?

AH: Yes, I was. The dancers themselves were great to work with. With my current interests, it’s not really about how good you are at something, even dancing! I’m not as interested in virtuosity as I used to be, but more interested in the performers true colours, in quite exposed situations. While the dancers were all great, I was more interested in exploring flaws and failures, and what it might mean to situate those in a performance context.

TS: Ideas of evolution feature strongly (and quite literally) in Keep Everything, and also in your work more broadly. Do you ever want to sit in a certain style and really hone that, or do you see your choreographic practice as more of an inquisitive and evolving thing?
AH: Yeah, I find themes repeating across my works, and I do like to try and explore something quite different every time. So in a way it’s often quite a surprise to reflect back on works and notice the strong similarities. The thing I think is most useful to develop in new directions, is to think more about the differences you can make to the audience situation. Otherwise, if you always work in the convention of the black box theatre with a show that has a set duration, you’ve already restricted yourself to a great limitation. Basically, a beginning, middle and end as defined by you. So open ended audience engagement is something that interests me for the future. So yes, evolving through inquisitiveness is right.

TS: What’s your next big project? What are you looking forward to?
AH: My next big project is touring my work Black Project 1 to Taipei Arts Festival in August, and I’m very much looking forward to it!

Mobile States and PICA present Chunky Move’s Keep Everything
23 – 26 July | 7:30pm | PICA Performance Space
Join Antony and Strut Dance’s Paul Selwyn Norton for a post-show Q&A Fri 25 July
Click here for tickets

 

Toured nationally by Performing Lines

Brisbane Powerhouse 30 July – 2 August, 2014
Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart 6 – 9 August, 2014
Performance Space, Sydney 13 – 17 August, 2014
Arts House, Melbourne20 – 24 August, 2014

KEEP EVERYTHING – Trailer from Chunky Move on Vimeo.


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Join The Team – Internship Opportunity

Posted by admin, June 3rd, 2014

We are on the look out for a motivated Marketing, Public Relations or Arts Management intern to join our team on the exciting new dance-theatre event Overexposed, premiering at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia in October 2014.

Experience working on a campaign for a premium performance at a major venue, including campaign planning, organisation and delivery; dealing with media/venue/ticketing enquiries;  and working with some of Australia’s most experienced independent artists for a national producing and touring company.

Click here to download the Internship Job Description>>

Please send a one page Expression of Interest and your CV to Thom Smyth, Marketing Manager, by 4pm Thursday 12 June.

Submit your application or any inquiries to thom@performinglineswa.org.au or call 08 9200 6212


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Festival wrap-up: FOLA

Posted by admin, March 27th, 2014

What is ‘live art’? It’s a contentious term that has been applied to works from a broad swathe of cross art form contemporary practice. So it’s a daunting task to attempt to answer that question, and even more so to curate a Festival of Live Art. Arts House, Theatre Works and Footscray Community Arts Centre took on the challenge, with a massive three-week program from across the world. The question wasn’t answered for us, but we (Thom and Fiona) found it was well worth trying.

We hit FOLA – Melbourne’s inaugural Festival of Live Art – in week two, when it had taken over the whole of Arts House, converting the North Melbourne Town Hall and the nearby Meat Market into a playground of live performance. James Berlyn was suited up and manning Tawdry’s typewriters, ready for the secrets Melbourne had to offer, having already hosted the Silent Drag Booth of Berlyn earlier in the week.fola5

The works we saw:

Sam Halmarack (UK) | Sam Halmarack & The Miserablites

An adorable take on audience participation, ably facilitated by our stranded band frontman and a suitably daggy “instructional” video work. Took the audience on the journey.

 

Tristan Meecham | Game Show

Putting his life’s possessions on the line for the live “studio audience”, Tristan Meecham as our host led selected contestants through several gruelling challenges to find the ultimate winner. Large scale and ambitious.

 

triage live art collective & Nicola Gunn | Live Art Escort Service

Fiona procured the assistance of Nicola Gunn to ponder the big artistic question of the festival – What is live art? – while being led outside and down surrounding dark laneways. Peering in on the lives of others through open windows, definitions of live art melted away into shared experience.

 

Sam Routledge & Martyn Coutts | I Think I Can

This Perth Festival favourite called the North Melbourne Town Hall home for the week, laying down the model railway for locals to bring the miniature world to life. Fiona’s Giant Man arrived in town as a political appointment as Acting Police Inspector, only to spring into action to save a Giant Woman being threatened by a vampire on the hotel roof…

 

Julie Vulcan | Drift

Entering a contemplative space of twinkling lights and tentative refuge, we were greeted with an inflatable flotilla of “vessels” where you could curl up against the ravages of the outside world. Travellers remained for such a long time we both missed out on the trip.

 

Malcolm Whittaker | Ignoramus Anonymous

An interactive support group for the ignorant. Is there something you are too ashamed to admit that you don’t know? The sort of thing everyone would scoff at? Ignoramus Anonymous is here to help. Thom’s group were both forthcoming with their knowledge gaps and with their answers, Fiona’s group…not so much.

 

Paul Gazzola | Gold Coin Series

Three works spread across the Town Hall and Meat Market spaces, Paul Gazzola encouraged us to questions our notions of value, worth, and what you truly think a dollar is worth.

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Ranters Theatre | I Know That I Am Not Dead (created by Beth Buchanan)

Fiona was the first audience member to enter Beth’s tent on a first floor balcony at Arts House and spend 20 minutes discussing sleep and not sleeping – one on one. The blankets were cosy, the thermos was full of hot peppermint tea, the conversation convivial.

 

Emma Beech | Life is Short and Long

A work in development, this facilitated conversation about what we know, how we feel, and how we were affected by the Global Financial Crisis morphed into a conversation about coping with crisis more broadly. Fascinating conversation, and Thom got into the snacks.

 

Mish Grigor | Man O Man

Part performance, part town hall meeting, post’s Mish Grigor joined forces with a team of local female writers to script letters to be read on the final night of the Patriarchy. On hearing the beautifully and hilariously crafted arguments for and against, participants were invited to vote on whether the male tyranny should prevail. The performance also included lamingtons. Lots of them.

 

Live Art Dance Party

Curated by Arts House, this was a hit and miss celebration of different works, crossing art forms, boundaries and taste levels. Sisters Grimm and The Town Bikes were highlights.

 

Sarah Rodigari | A Filibuster of Dreams

While many were sleeping off the effects of a Saturday night, Sarah Rodigari was delivering a mammoth ten hour durational performance reciting well-wishes submitted by audience members to their fellow Melbournites.

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Amy Spiers & Catherine Ryan | Nothing To See Hear (Dispersal)

Appropriating the techniques of riot squads and police units, patrons were steered away from the “performance space”, breaking and reforming their crowds. Fiona was a peaceful objector, and got covered in ‘Nothing to See Here’ tape for her disobedience. A stand out experience provoking self-reflection and meditation on freedom of choice.

 

Fragment31 / Leisa Shelton | Mapping

What are the key touch points and experiences you’ve had with live art in Australia? This work seeks to map the collective memory of all participants.  Stage One of a longer project, Leisa reported early results were showing a flurry of Perth-based projects. Stage Two will build an archive and invite us to step back and see what it looks like.


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PERTH VOTES 2013! YOUR TOP PICKS AND LOOKING AHEAD

Posted by admin, December 20th, 2013

For the second year running we invited an eclectic cross-section of Perth’s arts community to nominate their top three performance experiences of 2013 and an artist/company to watch in the new year.

Congratulations to all the artists and arts workers involved in presenting such dynamic performances in 2013 and we look forward to more exciting works to come.

Make sure you re-charge your batteries, ready to start 2014 with another Festive Season – the opening of Perth International Arts Festival, FRINGE WORLD and more!

Tell us YOUR top artist/ company to watch in 2014 via our facebook page!

Wishing you all a joyful festive season and creative summer, from all at Performing Lines WA

 

NOMINATED ARTISTS/ COMPANIES TO WATCH IN 2014

Will O’Mahony, Alicia Clements, The Skeletal System, Danielle Micich, Humphrey Bower, Ian Sinclair, Rose Riley, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Black Swan State Theatre Company, The Cutting Room Floor, The Last Great Hunt, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, STEPS Youth Dance Company, India Mehta, STRUT Dance, Proximity Festival, Virtual Dust Regional Choreographers Collective, Lucas Jervies, Andre Santos, Kathleen Hoffman.


OVERALL TOP SHOWS OF 2013

Winner: Great White The Skeletal System
Equal Second: The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
G Australian Dance Theatre
Equal Third: Bane (1,2 and 3) Joe Bone
Crash Course James Berlyn


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OUR GUEST BLOGGERS TOP PICKS

 

Henry Boston Executive Director, The Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia
Grazia Toderi PIAF exhibition at John Curtin Gallery. Wondrous collection of light filled and layered images
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company’s great theatre adaptation of the Kate Grenville novel
Standing Bird 2 dance theatre solo with Jacqui Claus. Powerhouse performance which needs to be seen further afield
Who to watch in 2014 The new theatre company on the block The Last Great Hunt

 

Stephen Bevis Arts Editor, The West Australian
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
Storm Boy Barking Gecko Theatre Company
G Australian Dance Theatre
Who to watch in 2014 New WA theatre company The Last Great Hunt and 2013 WAAPA graduate Rose Riley

 

Alan Payne Manager, Australian Writers Guild WA
Great White The Skeletal System
Duck, Death And The Tulip Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Shrine Black Swan State Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2014 Will O’Mahony

 

Kerry O’Sullivan, Executive Director The Blue Room Theatre
Deviator pvi collective
Great WhiteThe Skeletal System
Bane (1,2 and 3) Joe Bone
Who to watch in 2014 The Skeletal System

 

Alice Lee Holland Artistic Director STEPS Youth Dance Company
Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (An electro pop opera version of War and Peace) Kazino, in NYC
The Threepenny Opera Berliner Ensemble
Dual Stephanie Lake @ Dance Massive
Who to watch in 2014 The Last Great Hunt

 

Alice Jorgensen Deputy General Manager, State Theatre Centre WA
G Australian Dance Theatre
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
A History of Everything Ontroerend Goed & Sydney Theatre Company
Artist/ company to watch in 2014 Danielle Micich and Humphrey Bower. This partnership has already created some great work and has some ground breaking shows to come. Definitely watch their spaces in 2014 and anything at The Blue Room Theatre, where it all starts….


Guy Boyce
 Director, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
Duck, Death & the Tulip Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Trolleys Buzz Dance and AWESOME Festival
Equal Third: Great White Skeletal System and Wintering Aimee Smith at MPAC
Who to watch in 2014 Will O’Mahony who wrote, directed and acted in Great White and then did a fabulous job of directing Fire with WAYTCO. Company to watch is Spare Parts Puppet Theatre as I did love Tales of Outer SuburbiaSplat and The Deep.


Jamie McGleave
Communications & Development Manager, STRUT dance 
A History of Everything Ontrorend Goed & Sydney Theatre Company Company
Tales from Outer Suburbia Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Trois Generations STRUT Dance & STEPS Youth Dance Company
Who to watch in 2014 The Last Great Hunt - the new collaboration between independent theatre companies The Duckhouse Theatre and Weeping Spoon Productions – will be a most interesting development to chart throughout 2014.


Megan Roberts
 Business Manager, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Tales From Outer Suburbia Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart National Theatre of Scotland
I’m Your Man Roslyn Oades / Belvoir touring through Mobile States
Who to watch in 2014 The Last Great HuntProximity Festival and Ian Sinclair

 

Anna Kosky  Senior Production Co-ordinator, Perth International Arts Festival 
La Marea, Mariano Pensotti /Perth International Arts Festival
Proximity Festival, James Berlyn/Sarah Rowbottam/Kelli McCluskey/12 Artists 
Storm Boy, Barking Gecko Theatre Company & Sydney Theatre Company 
Who to watch in 2014 Proximity Festival : Those crazy cats at Proximity Festival, James Berlyn, Sarah Rowbottam and Kelli McCluskey are unstoppable.  

 

Pippa Davis  General Manager, Buzz Dance Theatre
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart National Theatre of Scotland/Perth International Arts Festival
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
Driving Miss Daisy John Frost 
Who to watch in 2014 
The Last Great Hunt and Lucas Jervies

 

Sarah Vagliviello Operations Officer, Country Arts WA

Goodbye Jamie Boyd Buzz Dance Theatre and Monkey Baa

Great WhiteThe Skeletal System
Crash Course James Berlyn
Who to watch in 2014 The Cutting Room Floor – a new theatre collective, most notable this year for producing Poly which ran at Fringe, and for presenting a series of intimate performances inside people’s homes.


Arielle Gray
 Independent Artist and founding member of  The Last Great Hunt
Great White The Skeletal System
Bane (1,2 and 3) Joe Bone
The Boat Goes Over the Mountain Happy Dagger Theatre
Who to watch in 2014 The Skeletal System – I think Will O’Mahony and Alicia Clements have a huge amount of talent


Joe Lui
Director, Renegade Productions
Great White The Skeletal System
Dreamtide Ochre Dance
I’m Your Man Roslyn Oades/Belvoir
Who to watch in 2014 Danielle Micich’s new production Overexposed looks awesome.


Annette Carmichael
Regional Contemporary Dance Faciliator,  Ausdance WA
Gudirr Gudirr Marrugeku @ Dance Massive
Reflect Sue Peacock
Because of You…. Sandi Woo (Broome)
Who to watch in 2014 Virtual Dust – Regional Choreographers Collective


Humphrey Bower
 Night Train Productions
The Tribe Renegade Productions
Crash Course James Berlyn
SDS1 Ahilan Ratnamohan
Who to watch in 2014 Will O’Mahoney/ The Skeletal System


Margrete Chaney
 Artist & Patron of Buzz Dance Theatre
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
Onegin The West Australian Ballet
Crash Course James Berlyn
Who to watch in 2014 Danielle Micich with her new work premiering  at the State Theatre Centre of WA  23 Oct – 1 Nov 2014


Shane Colquhoun
General Manager, Black Swan State Theatre Company
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
G Australian Dance Theatre
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2014 That’s a hard one! I would give it jointly to STRUT and The Last Great Hunt

 

Genvieve Jones Production Manager, Barking Gecko Theatre Company  
A History of Everything Ontrorend Goed & Sydney Theatre Company Company
Duck, Death & the Tulip Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Great White The Skeletal System
Who to watch in 2014 India Mehta, up and coming production designer. Seen recently at The Blue Room Theatre with her design for Joe Lui’s The Tribe

 

Robyn Smith  Ausdance WA
Trois Generations STRUT Dance & STEPS Youth Dance Company
CATS ICW Performing Arts Association
Jersey Boys Rodney Rigby
Who to watch in 2014 Andre Santos at the West Australian Ballet. Kathleen Hoffman, independent dancer and STEPS Youth Dance Company in their Birthday year!

 

Irene Jarzabek Freelance Publicist
G Australian Dance Theatre
A Clockwork Orange Les Currie & Glynis Henderson Productions with Action To The Word
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
With a special mention to seeing theatre legends Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy.
Who to watch in 2014 Black Swan State Theatre Company 2014 program with combination of classics from Chekhov, Shakespeare & Tennessee Williams, two comedies by Ben Elton & Neil Simon with the world premiere of Dust by Australian writer Suzie Miller and two show in the Studio Underground, there really is something for everyone. Also looking forward to Bangarra Dance Theatre’s tour of their new work Patyegarang.

G Australian Dance Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Summer time Oddysea

Posted by admin, November 27th, 2013

Sensorium Theatre’s co-artistic director, Francis Italiano, takes us through the background behind their new interactive performance for children with special needs – Oddysea.

Words: Francis Italiano Photo: Ashley de Prazer

In our previous show, The Jub Jub Tree, young audiences with special needs relished feeling grass and dirt underfoot in our luscious multi-sensory forest, and delighted in joining the animals they met who lived there. Encouraging them to be active participants in, rather than passive recipients of, the story became for us the cornerstone of Sensorium Theatre’s approach to “immersive” performance. In creating our new show ‘Oddysea’, the company was keen to explore this idea further and make the audience’s interactive experience even more dynamic and kinetic – not only taking them on a narrative journey, but seeing how we could enable them to undertake a physical journey of their own.

An odyssey is a journey or quest – traditionally heroic by nature – with one or more main characters reaching a goal after overcoming trials along the way…

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For many of our audience, some of whom have little or no movement and are unable to speak, just getting through a single day can require heroic efforts. How then, to convey a sense of fun and adventure in a journey that they could be part of? Given Sensorium’s method of using sensory stimuli to create cognitive “ins” to a story for our audience within an immersive setting, we began to think about where we’d like that journey to take them, and what kind of sensory delights we might like to offer them along the way? Being a Fremantle-based company, we ended up at The Sea…

So, in Oddysea, we’ve invited children with special needs to come on a journey to explore the sights, sounds, textures, smells and tastes of the oceanic world, and revel in the sensuous joy of sun, sand and sea while encountering some of the beautiful, extraordinary and truly odd characters and creatures who call the sea home.

For the Creative Development of this new show, the company undertook what we now plan to be a template for making our future new works; that is, after an initial brainstorming period for the creative team to establish our framework and objectives, we went on to directly collaborate with a representative spectrum of our intended audiences for the rest of the devising and creation period. Basing ourselves at Kenwick School for the duration of the development over a whole term, we alternated artists’ collaborative devising days with hands-on workshop-style days with the kids and staff in a kind of experiential dramaturgy -where we trialed different story ideas, variations of the live original music and instrumentation, and prototypes of interactive props, puppets and settings with them – adjusting, tweaking, jettison-ing and re-inventing based on their responses and direct feedback. The usually exciting collaborative experience of a creative development was amplified incredibly by having the kids in on the process – if an idea was a dud, then the audible “thud” when it crashed was totally palpable from our harshest critics, but if an idea had wings, then watching it soar, propelled by their enthusiasm, was beyond beautiful. Several of the songs from the score were inspired by the kids and the ending was directly influenced by one class in particular. It seems so obvious in retrospect, but what better way to fashion immersive worlds than to interact directly with the audience you want to invite into them as you are creating them?

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Working with the kids in a mock-up of our proposed set, using approximations of the final puppets and props, also allowed us to tackle the practical question of how best to physically convey a journey. Since many of our audience have limited physical mobility, in “Oddysea” we’ve explored “bringing” the journey to them, at times using happily old-school theatre  techniques such as “travelling” set-pieces and puppets/performers past them, and at others taking them on mini-promenades – literally propelling them along the slippery gold-satin “sand” if necessary. Wherever possible, children are taken out of their wheelchairs. In the finished version of the show, as we set off from the beach and the kelp-lined rock pools of the shoreline recede, accompanied by sea-shell rattles and steel-drum conch-shells, our principal characters, Crab & Turtle, encourage the audience to go ever further on their Oddysea. Having taken us up on our offer, the kids are treated to multiple transformations of the space before the tactile extravaganza of a crocheted coral reef unfurls before them and they arrive at their destination.

The journey the audience and artists take together is truly an odyssey. After such a rich development, enthusiastic test audiences and a promising start to our pilot tour, we decided our preferred mode of transportation – sensory stimuli, imaginary play, and intimate immersive interaction – is the only way to travel!

The Sensorium Theatre artists are highly skilled in working with children with special needs. Audience size is limited to 12 so that individual learning abilities can be catered for and experiences can be maximised. Performing Lines WA can create a performance package tailored to your needs, from the full 7-day residency to a one-off performance.

2013 School Tour: Kalamunda ESC and Sir David Brand School
2014 School Tour: Malibu School, Gladys Newton School, Carson Street School, Durham Road School, Creaney ESC, Beldon ESC, Merriwa ESC, Gwynne Park ESC

Please note there are no public performances of Oddysea. If you would like Sensorium Theatre to visit your school, please contact rachael@performinglineswa.org.au to discuss the range of residency and performance packages.