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RealTime 126 Reviews

At play with perception & consciousness Philipa Rothfield Philipa Rothfield writes about Prue Lang’s Spaceproject; Rawcus’ Catalogue; Rosalind Crisp’s The Boom Project; Shelley Lasica’s Solos for Other People and Melanie Lane’s Merge. ORIGINAL SOURCE: www.realtimearts.net/article/126/11892 Dance Massive Jana Perkovic The fourth incarnation of Dance Massive felt stronger than ever, with sold-out houses across the city, […]

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[Kill Your Darlings Journal] Witness and Connection at Melbourne’s Dance Massive

In a city where it feels not a day goes by without an arts festival, or three, happening, Melbourne’s Dance Massive is resolutely unique. Australia’s largest dance festival, the biennial event is curated essentially by a partnership between three venues: Arts House, Dancehouse, and Malthouse Theatre, in collaboration with Ausdance Vic. Utilising these venues’ existing […]

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[The Age] Dance and film: Sue Healey and Judd Overton form new visions

★★★★ – Sue Healey and Judd Overton are a match made in dance film heaven. Combining Healey’s choreographic choices with Overton’s stunning photography and five unique dancers, On View: Quintet is a remarkable experience. The upstairs studio at Dancehouse is fitted with five white screens, surrounding the performance space in a gentle curve. In the […]

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[Melbourne. Arts. Fashion] Merge

★★★★ Representing the culmination of several years of research and development, Melanie Lane’s Merge sets out to explore the relationship between humans and objects, and to reflect upon our everyday ritualistic encounters with the materialistic environment. Combining movement, sound and a series of objects designed by celebrated artists Bridie Lunney and Ash Keating, Merge is […]

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Dance review: Atlanta Eke’s Body of Work takes an otherworldly look at ageing

★★★☆ In an outfit made from old sofa cushions strapped to her body, Atlanta Eke makes her entrance from the rear of the seating bank. It’s the first of many bodily transformations, which accumulate and dissipate, from simple costume and lighting changes to profound digital modifications. Body of Work features two large screens on stage, […]

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[The Conversation] In Motion Picture, dancers drive a cinematic story onstage

Lucy Guerin’s Motion Picture, performed as part of Melbourne’s Dance Massive festival, was an anticipated work from one of the city’s most respected choreographers. With her permanent studio space in the city, a rarity in Melbourne, Guerin has provided a consistent creative and experimental point of contact for many young dancers and choreographers. Developing many […]

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[Fjord Review] The Body Politic

(Pay attention to what it is, just as it is.) Each person is in the best seat –John Cage, lines 3, 31 of “2 Pages, 122 Words on Music and Dance,” 1957   Seated in my own ‘best seat,’ frankness, humility, humour, experimentation and a willingness to question link for me Kate Champion’s “Nothing to […]

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[The Age] 10,000 Small Deaths review: Paula Lay blends fluidity with strength in study of life and death

★★★ – Choosing your collaborators wisely can make all the difference when it comes to creating a successful performance. For choreographer and performer Paula Lay, working with experienced composer Kelly Ryall as well as video artist/dramaturge Martyn Coutts and filmmaker Mischa Baka, has allowed her to create a multidimensional contemplation of life and death. The opening […]

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[The Age] Stampede the Stampede review: Dancer Tim Darbyshire does battle with machines

★★★★  – Over the course of three short scenes, performer and choreographer Tim Darbyshire puts his body under stress. But this is not necessarily a work in which human exhaustion is the conceptual motivation. Rather, this is a battle of wills between Darbyshire and various mechanical devices. Demonstrating a cohesive and riveting collaboration between sound (Madeleine […]

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[Australian Stage] Motion Picture | Lucy Guerin Inc

Motion Picture by choreographer Lucy Guerin, is a film in dance, a dance to a film, a dance in response to a film. The movie is DOA, made in 1950, the quintessential noir film with its shifting light, shadows and chiaroscuro effects, and a hapless protagonist played by Edmond O’Brien. The colour scheme of the […]

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[The Age] Merge review: Powerful rhythmic structure complements thoughtful choreography

★★★☆ Merge offers an interesting lesson in choreographic control. Choreographer Melanie Lane has created a tightly-wound, meticulous work featuring four dancers. Movement sequences are judiciously unspooled and then quickly rewound, giving the impression that Merge is moving simultaneously backwards and forwards as it evolves over time. Lane’s choreographic vocabulary lends itself to this kind of […]

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[Melbourne. Arts. Fashion] Motion Picture – Dance Review

★★★★ – Established in 2002, Lucy Guerin Inc. is a Melbourne-based dance company created by the original and innovative eye of Lucy Guerin. The highly awarded Adelaide-born artist has worked with notable local and international outfits including Tere O’Connor Dance, the Bebe Miller Company, as well as commissioned works with Chunky Move, Dance Works Rotterdam […]

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[The Herald Sun] Dance review: Lucy Guerin’s Motion Picture, Arts House

★★★★½ WE’VE heard of sing-alongs to movies, but choreographer Lucy Guerin has upped that ante with a dance-along to a movie. Don’t go thinking high kicks and air guitar though. This is contemporary dance of the most sophisticated and well-devised order. Not that we would expect less from Guerin, a highly experienced dance-maker who approaches […]

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[Same Same] Nothing to Lose

As a society built on excess, we are fascinated by striving for moderation. This struggle often manifests in the way we treat our bodies through eating enough, but not too much, exercising enough, but not too much, thinking enough, loving enough, being enough, but not too much. This obsession with moderation is borne out of […]

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[The Music] The Boom Project

★★★☆ Dancer and choreographer Rosalind Crisp is Dance, quite literally. She embodies the character of Dance and is provoked and consoled by fellow dancer Helen Herbertson. Crisp makes good use of this deep warehouse space as she struggles against herself to convey dance in light of apocalypse of a ‘big boom’.  Her fragility is easily […]

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[Dance Australia] Dance Massive 2015, week 1

Melbourne dance fans are rejoicing that 2015 is a Dance Massive year. We are well and truly immersed in this wonderful biennial festival that is hosted by Melbourne’s contemporary and independent dance community with works auspiced by Malthouse, Artshouse and Dancehouse. Here are a few offerings from the first week. Meeting, a collaborative work by […]

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[The Age] Kingdom review

★★☆ – Kingdom review: Balletlab stripped bare stretches patience Kingdom explores a number of different aspects of male, homosexual identity through movement, text and musical vocalisations. The work begins with four dancers (Phillip Adams, Matthew Day, Luke George, Rennie McDougall) using lengths of wood and card to soberly construct, deconstruct and refashion the space, a […]

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[Artshub] Merge

★★★ – Merge opens with four dancers emerging from a collective cocoon. In the early moments they are more objects with legs than people and I was reminded fo the fabulous work of the Swiss puppetry company Mummenschanz, who animate objects with extraordinary emotional content. Merge works with objects too but, while it is a […]

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[Artshub] Maximum

The physical limits of our bodies are most commonly tested in marathons, body building competitions, abseiling, and extreme sports, yet the same endurance is required in dance, though often not categorised in the same way. In Maximum, choreographer and performer Natalie Abbott places two disparate physical forms – a bodybuilder and dancer – side by […]

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[Artshub] Nothing to Lose

★★★★ Co-created with fat activist Kelli Jean Drinkwater, Nothing to Lose – Kate Champion’s final work with Force Majeure, the company she established in 2002 – is a compelling reclamation of the stage by performers whose girth usually banishes them from it. The results are revelatory. Stripped down to their underwear, virtually every inch of […]

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[Time Out] Nothing to Lose

★★★★★ A case for dance as the most provocative and exhilarating medium out there Sometimes a title tells you nothing and sometimes it tells you all. Nothing to Lose, director Kate Champion’s final show with dance company Force Majeure, falls decidedly into the latter category. It’s a title that functions as a Janus statue – […]

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[Fjord Review] Shout out Loud: MEETING & OVERWORLD

Meeting” & “Overworld” Choreography by Antony Hamilton & Alisdair Macindoe, Rebecca Jensen & Sarah Aiken Dance Massive 2015 Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall  March 11, 2015 If Chunky Move’s “Depth of Field,” the beginning of my Dance Massive 2015 marathon, was to show me a seasonal pattern unshaped by human hand, “Meeting” revealed a […]

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[The Daily Review] Shelley Lasica, Solos for Other People

★★★☆ Shelley Lasica, Solos for Other People (Carlton Baths, Melbourne) In they file, attired in a costume gallimaufry of op-shop horrors and Spotlight dance fabrics. Veteran choreographer Shelley Lasica has here created ten solos for ten dancers and an eleventh for herself. She’s worked with all the dancers before; some she has collaborated with off-and-on […]

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[The Daily Review] The Boom Project

★★★★ Rosalind Crisp/Omeo Dance, The Boom Project (Blueprint Showroom, Melbourne) There is exhaustion, too, in Rosalind Crisp’s new work, staged in an historic, high-ceilinged old factory at Blueprint Furniture in North Melbourne. In her program she writes: ”Dance has exhausted herself. Form is collapsing. Nature is rapidly being extinguished. Our house is burning, hors contrôl.” Why […]

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[The Age] Rosalind Crisp’s Boom Project dances to the end of hope

★★★★ A haunting conversation between old friends, The Boom Project is devastating. The piece is performed by Rosalind Crisp, with design by Ben Cobham and Helen Herbertson as provocateur. A creative team with such a wealth of experience as this is rare. What they create here is a kind of anti-dance, set in a hazy no […]

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[Melbourne. Arts. Fashion] The Boom Project

★★★★★ Performance like this is a rare treat; minimalism done so well it almost hurts. Here is a performance that works with no music, nor theatrical devices, it’s just two performers, a space stripped bared, and some rather amazing lighting designed by Ben Cobham who has worked with the architectural elements of the performance space, […]

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[The Herald Sun] Dance review: Depth of Field, Chunky Move

★★★★ TRUE to its name, this new work by Chunky Move has depth in more ways than one. Firstly, the space is vast — so vast that the audience seated in risers outside the CM studios can see all the way to the freeway and beyond. Distant tall buildings, road signs over the highway, trams […]

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[The Daily Review] OVERWORLD

★★★ Overworld is part work of contemporary dance, part festival of appropriation. So far as the dance is concerned, it’s very impressive. It’s a bit like Rebecca Jensen and Sarah Aiken have trashed a consumer electronics store, then carefully covered the whole scene with a thin white sheet. On the surface it’s clear, carefully structured […]

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[The Daily Review] MEETING

★★★★☆ Antony Hamilton and Alisdair Macindoe dressed in anonymous black sweats, enter a circle created by 52 blocks, each the size of a thickish mass-market paperback. To the side of each block is fixed a grey lead pencil. This is in fact a drum circle. Each block is a small robot, able to tap the […]

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[The Music] Depth Of Field

★★★☆ Contemporary dance can sometimes be its own worst enemy; especially within the confines of a culture that craves the easily digestible. The art form’s penchant for the abstruse and its current taste for glitchy soundscapes and ‘rolling around on the floor’ can leave both fans and newcomers feeling frustrated, even insulted. This is why […]

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[Australian Stage] Meeting

Antony Hamilton and Alisdair MacIndoe made themselves a dance where they are not in control of what happens on the floor – instead the dance is made by them responding to rhythms made by small boxes tapping pencils. Percussion bots in circle on floor. Music stands create impression of concert. Casually dressed dancers. Clicks taps […]

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[Melbourne. Arts. Fashion] Depth of Field – Dance Review

★★★★★ The Dance Massive festival has kicked off with a bang, as bold new works in contemporary choreography explode across various venues in Melbourne to show what this city’s performing arts is truly capable of. And nowhere is our awe-inspiring capability as a performing arts city more clearly demonstrated than in the dusty forecourt of […]

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[The Music] SPACEPROJECT

★★★ After 18 years in Europe collaborating with the likes of William Forsythe, Prue Lang has returned home with a work of intellectual rigour, surprising humour and beautifully realised movement. Although Spaceproject falls into the ‘use of text’ trap, (dancers, I’m sorry to report, are not actors), its light and shade rescue it from arcane […]

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[Arts Hub] Catalogue

★★★★ – The ways in which our identities are created, singly and in relation to one another, is a perfect topic for this remarkably accomplished work by mixed-ability performance company Rawcus. Catalogue features as part of the Dance Massive festival but it is certainly not simply dance. The work is a skillful blend of theatrical […]

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[The Daily Review] Chunky Move, Depth of Field (Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne)

★★★★★ Depth of Field is the most satisfying, most fully realised piece that Anouk van Dijk has yet produced as Chunky Move artistic director. The Dutch-born choreographer has here recaptured something of the fascination and excitement which attached to the site-specific work she first staged in the Netherlands immediately before her arrival in Australia – […]

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[The Daily Review] Prue Lang, Spaceproject (Dancehouse, Melbourne)

★★ Four dancers – James Batchelor, Benjamin Hancock, Lauren Langlois and Amber McCartney – take it in turns to sit behind a desk and recite longish chunks of cultural theory. It’s a terrible opening gambit. The dancers lack conviction and clearly have only the barest understanding of – or investment in – the words they’ve […]

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[The Music] Meeting – Arts House

★★★★ In this work we observe Antony Hamilton and Alisdair Macindoe, surrounded by 64 mechanised pencils, tapping away on the floor in a manic and inconsistent fashion. The show is an hour of watching their hands and bodies moving in sync to a rapidly changing beat that is hard to follow as an audience member, […]

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[The Age] Catalogue review: Frank, fearless and funny dance portraits

★★★☆ – In Catalogue, the cumulative power of a series of portraits becomes transformative. Still images, revelatory dances and spoken words remind us of our diversity and our shared humanity. Frank, fearless and funny, the portraits reveal talents and flaws, beauty and banality. Among the soul-baring text, muscle flexing and smack-down wrestling, showmanship undergoes a […]

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[The Music] Overworld – Arts House

 ★★★★ – Arts House presents Sarah Aiken’s and  Rebecca Jensen’s Overworld as part of Dance Massive. The performers combine dance, singing and speech elements to explore how our unlimited access to information devalues its sanctity and value. The juxtaposition of popular culture and new-age spiritual tropes features predominantly as well as absurd pointed digs at using […]

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[The Music] Catalogue – Arts House

★★★½ The 2015 Dance Massive festival continues to question traditional conceptions of dance and those who may identify as a dancer with Catalogue, the latest work by mixed ability ensemble Rawcus. Catalogue is a multidisciplinary work that communicates both the uniqueness of the individual stories and moments that connect us all, such as the desire […]

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[The Age] Synchronised meeting of the minds – MEETING

 ★★★★ Antony Hamilton and Alisdair Macindoe Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall Until Saturday Two cool kids of the Melbourne dance scene, Antony Hamilton and Alisdair Macindoe, have teamed up to create something unique. MEETING is built around numbers. Although often invisible, strings of random digits underpin both Hamilton’s movement and Macindoe’s music. The men stand […]

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[The Age] Spaceproject takes on infinite and minute

★★★☆ From beneath a small table, a dancer speaks of the “post-modern apocalypse” and “an implosion of meaning”.  In her program notes, choreographer Prue Lang refers to the human body as a medium for the comprehension of space and time, a notion both mathematical and emotional.   Lang employs complex movement to edge up to […]

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[Melbourne. Arts. Fashion] Long Grass Review

5 stars Long Grass is the kind of exemplary work we need to see so much more of. It’s a thought provoking, tender performance that really pulls at the heartstrings in just the right fashion.  In this performance it’s what goes unsaid, that leaves the strongest impact, the way in which just enough room is […]

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[Melbourne. Arts. Fashion] Catalogue Review

4 stars The artistic drive behind this performance was to “create a catalogue of humanity” an ambitious goal, but one Rawcus has achieved in this beautifully warm performance, with the honest raw and delicate here with bold statements relating to or connected with the human condition. Let’s start with the visual elements of this work […]

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[SMH] Nothing To Lose review: Kate Champion’s provocative, inspiring farewell

A performers’ show: Stark sets and subtle lighting put bodies front and centre in Nothing To Lose. Photo: Prudence Upton/Sydney Festival Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Sydney Festival: Nothing To Lose Carriageworks, January 22 Nothing To Lose has had much media attention in the lead up to its Sydney Festival premiere. On opening night […]

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[Sydney Morning Herald] Vicki Van Hout’s refuge of hope grows in expressive dance

Long Grass has had a long gestation period. Director and choreographer Vicki Van Hout took five years before summoning up the courage to take on the contentious issue of displacement among indigenous fringe dwellers. With the able assistance of cultural consultant and creative collaborator Gary Lang, a company of fine young dancers and the support […]

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[Real Time] NEXT WAVE : Risk yields new forces – Maximum & Overworld

Next Wave is an ambitious festival—a major, well-funded biennial curatorial project which commissions and develops innovative work by young artists (notably through its Kickstart program). The final works, unveiled only at the festival, are often variable in their execution. This, I have come to realise, is legitimate. The level of risk involved in working with […]

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