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IT WAS WONDERFUL TO SEE THE WESTERN BROADWALK FOYER OF THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE DURING THE SYDNEY FESTIVAL AWASH WITH VIDEO MONITORS LARGE AND SMALL SURROUNDED BY EAGER PRE- AND POST-SHOW VIEWERS. WHAT THEY SAW WAS BOUNTY FROM A TREASURE CHEST OF AUSTRALIAN DANCE FILM CURATED BY REELDANCE’S ERIN BRANNIGAN.

Small monitors with associated touch screens offered a selection of works and two pairs of headphones for shared viewing, and the opportunity to cut out the buzz of the crowd and immerse yourself, glass of wine in hand, in up to 14 works ranging from Tanja Liedtke’s One Cell, Nalina Wait and Jane McKernan’s Dual and Samuel James and Rosie Dennis’ Simulated Rapture to films of ADT’s Devolution and Chunky Move’s Glow.

The large ‘3 Screen’ outside the Drama Theatre featured The Fondue Set (collaborating with Shane Carn) re-creacting in serio-comic detail The Lorrae Desmond Show, alternating with Force Majeure’s The Sense of It, and Margie Medlin and Rebecca Hilton’s Miss World.

The ‘Screen Wall’ also provided viewing on a larger scale but changed content daily, featuring award winning dance films such as Gina Czarnecki and ADT’s Nascent and Sean O’Brien and Yumi Umiumare’s Sunrise at Midnight, a documentary of Stephen Page’s Kin and works by Anton, Shaun Parker and Natalie Cursio among others. A ‘VJ’ program on more large screens put works by Bangarra, Chunky Move, Dance North, Lucy Guerin Inc, David Corbet, Sue Healey and others in the mix.

For successful viewing of works on the big screens, less crowded, quieter foyer moments were preferable, but the curious were not deterred, while the small monitors offered ideal intimacy. Dance Screen was a popular venture that warrants repeating. Certainly for the many hundreds who course through the Opera House daily on tours the program should have been running all day. Not only did Dance Screen reveal to the audiences packing out the festival’s Movers & Shakers dance program a wealth of dance film of all kinds, but it provided audiences with options—either to mingle or relax into another world of dance altogether.


Sydney Festival, Moves & Shakers, Dance Screen, curator Erin Brannigan, Theatre Foyers, Western Broadwalk, Sydney Opera House, Jan 5-16

RealTime issue #83 Feb-March 2008 pg. 44

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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