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Dance Massive 2013


 Da Contents H2

dance massive 2013
March 27 2013
dance: installed, immersed, hybridised
keith gallasch: dance massive 2013

quotidian moves, gangnam-style
philipa rothfield: ben speth, wetubelive

dance massive 2013
sounds to dance to, with, against
gail priest: sound design in dance massive 2013

March 26 2013
the life in the work
philipa rothfield: tracie mitchell, dance screen retrospective

youtubing live
varia karipoff: ben speth, wetubelive

dance massive 2013
March 24 2013
dance & disorientation
keith gallasch: tim darbyshire, more or less concrete

more or less monstrous
jana perkovic: atlanta eke, monster body

realtime tv: tim darbyshire, more of less concrete, dance massive 2013

March 22 2013
ritual entwining
philipa rothfield: soo yeun you, [gu:t] [work-in-progress]

strange affliction: dance massive & transcendence
keith gallasch: jo lloyd, future perfect

March 21 2013
a not so private hearing
carl nilsson-polias: tim darbyshire, more or less concrete

realtime tv: antony hamilton, black projects 1& 2, dance massive 2013

something ends, something begins
virginia baxter: dance exchange, dance for the time being - southern exposure

dance massive 2013
the perfection of submission
varia karipoff: jo lloyd, future perfect

March 20 2013
inner fury, seductive skill
philipa rothfield: anouk van dijk, chunky move, 247 days

March 20 2013
old tropes & the new disconnect
carl nilsson-polias: lucy guerin inc & belvoir, conversation piece

March 19 2013
now, then, now
keith gallasch: sandra parker, the recording

realtime tv: anouk van dijk, 247 days, chunky move, dance massive 2013

dance massive 2013
March 18 2013
creating an affective community
jana perkovic: matthew day, intermission

fun and the damage done
keith gallasch: larissa mcgowan, skeleton

more than smoke and mirrors
virginia baxter: ashley dyer, life support

realtime tv: lee serle, p.o.v., dance massive 2013

March 17 2013
realtime tv: dalisa pigram, gudirr gudirr, dance massive 2013

the body un-mirrored
jana perkovic: anouk van dijk, chunky move, 247 days

the origins of feeling
philipa rothfield: sandra parker, the recording

March 16 2013
realtime tv: stephanie lake, dual, dance massive 2013

dance massive 2013
March 15 2013
a dance for dark times
virginia baxter: dalisa pigram, gudirr gudirr

brittle bones & internal electricity
carl nilsson-polias: larissa mcgowan, skeleton

in the thick of it
philipa rothfield: lee serle, p.o.v.

March 15 2013
inside the audience
jana perkovic: lee serle, p.o.v

the poetry of pain
keith gallasch: stephanie lake, dual

dance massive 2013
when two become one
varia karipoff: stephanie lake, dual

March 14 2013
blacker than black
keith gallasch: antony hamilton, black projects 1 & 2

life in a puff
carl nilsson-polias: ashley dyer, life support

March 13 2013
dark symmetries
carl nilsson-polias: antony hamilton, black projects 1 & 2

lines of flight
philipa rothfield: dalisa pigram, gudirr gudirr

dance massive 2013
suggestive formalism
jana perkovic: natalie abbott, physical fractals

unsettling the audience
varia karipoff: natalie abbott, physical fractals

February 22 2013
an intense manifestation of dance
philipa rothfield: dance massive 2013, melbourne

dance massive 2013: from the archive
lucy guerin inc, conversation piece; antony hamilton, black project; atlanta eke, this monster body; matthew day, intermission; jo lloyd, future perfect; tim darbyshire, more or less concrete; natalie abbot, physical fractals; ben speth, wetubelive


Natalie Abbott, Sarah Aitken, Physical Fractals Natalie Abbott, Sarah Aitken, Physical Fractals
photo Ponch Hawkes

At these apex moments in the performance, movement is paused and, when resumed, time seems to snap back to familiar shape. The performance, shared with Sarah Aiken, messes with our personal sense of gravity and our concept of space. Much of the time we are hyper conscious of our own breath, which is often bated.

Physical Fractals begins with the dancers’ repeated movements bordering on the obsessive and becoming increasingly laboured. The unison of Abbott and Aiken’s movement is made even more impressive by their physical uniformity, down to the length of their hair, their similar height and build. The movements soon create a familiar pattern for the audience; we anticipate a backstroke into the centre from the corner of the performance space that will give way to a circular motion, heads bent and hair twirling. Despite the similarity of the dancers we pick up the tiniest variations in their actions; how one holds her arm out behind her slightly higher than the other for instance. Abbott appears to attack the choreography with more sanguinity, her face set in determination. Aiken’s performance presence is more serene, or resigned—she mirrors Abbott beautifully.

The dancing is accompanied by heavy silence which gives way to looped sounds picked up live from the stage. The dancers’ unison becomes intermittent. The space falls into darkness as the sounds crescendo and grow more insistent. Wave after turbulent sound wave crashes over us, rendering us breathless and uncomfortable. It’s a wild sound, like wind and water filling your head. The sound (Daniel Arnot) works in conjunction with clever lighting (Govin Ruben); both disorient our visual sense and lead to small sensory glitches. Later, Abbott and Aiken swing microphones on long cords through the air. Our proximity to the performers makes this a shared sensation, dangerous and hypnotic. Darkness falls over them while the rushing sound of the swinging microphones continues. When the stage is re-lit, the dancers are on the floor when we expect them to still be swinging the microphones. We had sat knotted up and tense, trying to gauge something in the dark while imagining the microphones slipping out of control.

Sarah Aitken, Natalie Abbott, Physical Fractals Sarah Aitken, Natalie Abbott, Physical Fractals
photo Ponch Hawkes
The success of the performance relies on tension and release—the pendulum swings from the dancers being the focus to the audience’s reaction taking centre stage. The next chapter of the dance is characterised by trotting feet, a kind of dance/march that eventually becomes plodding. The continued unison here made me think of Lipizzaner stallions—perhaps because the performers were now subserviently on all fours. The dance becomes more gruelling when the pair repeatedly collide with the floor, first backwards then straight back up and crumpling forward. The backfall is broken by one hand.

The audience watches on, unsettled and contemplative, again the focus on us—on our watching. The sensitive microphones around the space make us reluctant to move; I spot a woman guiltily swig from a beer bottle as the dancers fall again and again. Physical Fractals is an acutely rendered study in the boundaries between audience and performers. Here these boundaries are traversed through short-winded sensory experiences and in our emotional investment in the work.

Dance Massive: Physical Fractals, choreographer, director, performer Natalie Abbott, collaborator Rebecca Jensen, performer Sarah Aitken, live sound design Daniel Arnot, dramaturg Matthew Day, lighting Govin Ruben; Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, March 12-16;

© Varia Karipoff; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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