info I contact
editorial schedule
join the realtime email list
become a friend of realtime on facebook
follow realtime on twitter

magazine  archive  features  rt profiler  realtimedance  mediaartarchive

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


Tara Soh, James Pham, Lauren Langlois, Leif Helland, Niharika Senapati,  Alya Manzart, 247 Days, Chunky Move Tara Soh, James Pham, Lauren Langlois, Leif Helland, Niharika Senapati, Alya Manzart, 247 Days, Chunky Move
photo Jeff Busby

The stage is dominated by a curved series of mirrors, a speculum of internal space. The work begins with an extended solo. A young woman (Lauren Langlois) contemplates her image intently, shifting weight, searching for reassurance which is structurally lacking, inasmuch as the mirror cannot compensate the anxieties which compel the search. Her own joints cannot offer support. She turns towards us, turns back, turns to us, turns back. This is an obsessive compulsion which finds relief neither in the image nor in the gaze of the other. The performer articulates her needs, her wants, her desires. Is she talking to us? I don’t think so.

This girl has no centre, she is hollow but for her anxieties. She runs then sets up a pattern of movements that the others join, each oriented towards their own image. The group is a set of splinters united in movement, divided by an atomistic mode of experience. There is nonetheless a certain pleasure in watching the group move together, gained through observing their collective mastery of space in time.

Lauren Langlois, 247 Days, Chunky Move Lauren Langlois, 247 Days, Chunky Move
photo Jeff Busby
Their dancing is more sustained than their speech which is truncated: stuttered emotions garnered on the run and selected largely for their shadow side. These psychological bubbles are mirrored in momentary facial expressions, smiles more like the rictus of a corpse, a silent scream (reminiscent of Francis Bacon’s Screaming Pope series). The muscles of the face swish over bone.

The spine is distended at the edges, the big toe a distorted coda to a leg turned inwards. Lines of movement traverse the body, not for beauty’s sake. Happily, phylogeny takes over and lizard crawls allow for a pure moment of cross-lateral slithering. That clear passage from one diagonal to its corresponding other becomes a linear clarity through space. I begin to recognise a kind of style. The body is the site of linear flows, which may begin with a pelvis flung inwards, a step turning into a twist, the torque of the torso, the body dipping for a leg lift, whatever it takes to keep this line of movement going. The head and spine undulate towards their maximum curvature. The head has a relative independence from the spine, suggesting a giddying loss of control, belied by the underlying skill needed to let go of vision’s anchorage. In fact, a great deal of the dancing has these two sides of the coin: letting go of control/amazing control in letting go.

The solos give way to duets and a trio. Much of the duet work consists of one partner holding and spinning the other like a centrifuge, the motion outwards counter-balanced by an inward spiral. Then the two lean towards each other, sharing weight, seeking touch through pouring weight into the body of the other. Sometimes one person will lead the movement of another through the head. The poetics of these partnerships has to do with relationships, variously expressed in terms of love, control, loss of control, agency and helplessness. One couple hug and fling in turns.

The curved mirror is broken up and deconstructed to produce a proliferation of reflections, liminal spaces to be occupied by the dancers. Bit by bit the work unravels to reveal individual reflections.

Attempting to reflect on the tenor of 247 Days, I find myself oscillating between thinking of it as a dystopian construction and seeing it as a social reflection of the real. Perhaps all dystopias have their root in the historical present, taking their line of flight through some imaginary proposition: the apocalypse, totalitarian hegemony, cultural cannibalism, man’s inhumanity to man.

James Pham and Leif Helland, 247 Days, Chunky Move James Pham and Leif Helland, 247 Days, Chunky Move
photo Jeff Busby
247 Days explores an experiential slice of life, youthful, anxious, fearful, not especially happy. Faces are discontinuous with inner feelings, the mirror a crucible of angst. By contrast, the choreography works on a somewhat different register. The physical prowess of the performers rarely mirrors their expressions of insecurity and doubt. A certain seduction of performative skill—that is, the audience is drawn into the dancing—belies the internal sound of fury that finds expression through voice and facial gesture. Maybe this difference offers an out to the tendency for 247 Days to totalise the negative. Am I being too negative?

See also our realtime tv video interview with choreographer Anouk van Dijk.

Dance Massive, Malthouse: Chunky Move, 247 Days, concept, choreography Anouk van Dijk, performers Leif Helland, Lauren Langlois, Alya Manzart, James Pham, Niharika Senapati, Tara Soh, composition, sound designer Marcel Wierck, set design Michael Hankin, lighting Niklas Pajanti, costumes Shio Otani; The Malthouse Theatre, March 15–23;

RealTime issue #114 April-May 2013 pg. 28

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

Back to top