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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


Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr, Marrugeku Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr, Marrugeku
photo Ponch Hawkes

This is reflected in Pigram’s physical training: a bricolage of Malaysian martial arts, gymnastics, indigenous culture and refined, animal movements. It is also part of who she is. Not that such a medley of origins has always been welcome. Gudirr Gudirr opens with a 1928 report to AO Neville (Commissioner for Native Affairs) on the dubious status of peoples of mixed heritage in the Broome area.

All the while, Pigram stands in a far corner, her back towards us. She moves nearer, still facing upstage, punching, lunging, and rotating along the axis of her spine. She cuts a strong diagonal, iterating a movement lexicon in a ritual crossing of space. Facing us, she opens her body into a low lunge to the side, Krishna holding a spear. Or is it a harpoon?

The screen at the back of the space flashes black and white images throughout: of family, living ancestors, gurus and masters. There is an older man, circulating chi, nursing it between his hands. His mastery presides over this performance. Pigram is dedicated to her moving, clear and bold. Her feet say a lot. They are broad, grounded, the feet of a woman who has walked, and fished. She tells a story of catching crabs with her father, learning the ethos of the fisherman: catch enough to eat, no more. The little girl learns to work the long net suspended from the ceiling.

Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr, Marrugeku Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr, Marrugeku
photo Ponch Hawkes
House lights brighten, we look at each other. Pigram is an airline steward demonstrating the pros and cons of net throwing, inducting us into fishing culture via the technology of the throw net. Perched along its grid-like netting, she looks like an island girl, agile, flexible, at one with its flowing lines.

As the music turns sour, dystopia enters this coastal idyll. The documentary flavour of black and white imagery gives way to the elicitations of colour. A goanna stumbles, its head trapped inside a beer can. History enters the life of the animal. Pigram snatches a microphone, declaring what is past and what is present. If the old days are over, their legacy is not. It is time, she says, to decolonise blackfella’s minds, echoing French Algerian Frantz Fanon’s heartfelt cry, “Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.”

Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr, Marrugeku Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr, Marrugeku
photo Ponch Hawkes
Pigram occupies the liminal space between colonisation and cultural freedom. Her movements are jerky, discombobulated. They do not eat space, they are confined by it. A tryptich shows young men fighting each other in the dirt, their misdirected aggression devouring their own future. Three images blend into a single scream. Pigram verbalises the anger in a tirade of “fucken” this, “fucken” that. A proliferation of fuckens fills the screen. It becomes surreal. Pigram’s body heaves catching its breath.


What happens next is key. This is Dalisa Pigram’s moment, as an artist and as a subject of history. She is poised in the present of all that has become. She leans out, supported by the long net, her feet on the ground. Leaning: neither fully supporting her own weight nor surrendering it to the net, Pigram explores the possibilities that lie between her body and the net. She runs, veering in a circle, testing the pull of the net as it meets the force of her own activity. The net circles as she soars towards the audience. Time stretches to the elastic sounds of jazz. This expression of the dancer’s agency is a mixture of freedom and constraint. She is a compact set of forces, aware of her location, her lineage, but finding a creative line of flight. Three snakes, one snake three ways, slither over river stones, elegant, inexorable. Pigram dances her own future, stretching the space of possibility not just for herself but for us too.

Dance Massive, Arts House: Gudirr Gudirr, concept, performer and co-choreographer Dalisa Pigram, director and co-choreographer Koen Augustijnen, set design and video artist, Vernon Ah Kee, video production Sam James, composer & sound designer Sam Serruys, singer and songwriter Stephen Pigram, lighting design Matthew Marshall, concept and cultural advisor Patrick Dodson, dramaturg & creative producer Rachael Swain, executive producer John Baylis. Produced by Stalker Theatre and co-commissioned by the City of Melbourne through Arts House, Theatre Im Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen (Germany) and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Marrugeku, Arts House, Meat Market, Melbourne, March 12-16;

© Philipa Rothfield; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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