12 Australian Choreographers
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tess de quincey

Tess De Quincey is a choreographer and dancer who has worked extensively in Europe, Japan and Australia as a performer, teacher and director. Trained in dance, graphics and sculpture in London and Copenhagen, she was formerly a dancer with butoh artist Min Tanaka and his Mai-Juku performance group for six years [1985-91] which has provided the strongest influence on her performance work to date. Her interdisciplinary performances are based in the Body Weather philosophy and methodology founded by Min Tanaka and Mai-Juku.

Her major solo works, Movement on the Edge (1988-89), Another Dust (1989-92) IS and IS.2 (1994-95) and NERVE 9 (2001 onwards), have toured widely in both Europe and Australia while a series of performance works created over five years in the ancient dry lake bed of Mungo, far western New South Wales, were the beginnings of her work in the Australian Outback. She has initiated a long term exchange entitled Embrace between Indian and Australian artists and is director of the Triple Alice Forum & Laboratories which bring together interdisciplinary practices of artists, scientists and thinkers in relation to the Central Desert of Australia.

Since introducing the Body Weather philosophy and methodology to Australia in 1989, De Quincey's teaching and performance practice has had a far-reaching influence on numerous practitioners within the performing arts both here and abroad. In 2000 she formed De Quincey Co, Australia's leading Body Weather company, presenting a range of dance-performance works and interactive environments in metropolitan and outback areas.

Works have ranged from The Scent Trilogy, a glamtrash series of interventions in nightclubs through to the intense and intimate suite of Five Short Solos in tiny, linked spaces, to Dictionary of Atmospheres drawing audiences through a kilometre of riverbed in Alice Springs. The site-specific work, The Stirring, led audiences through the newly opened CarriageWorks arts centre in Sydney, and Run unfolded a gigantically scaled three ton sculptural performance engine as an inquiry into energy and motion.

De Quincey has created an extensive body of artworks both nationally and internationally in different terrains—from from city to desert—and made a series of works concerned with inhabitation and the nature of place. Besides her interdisciplinary artworks, improvisational work with musicians and visual artists, her main emphasis is on intercultural, site-specific and durational performances. (Text courtesy of the artist.)
www.dequinceyco.net and www.triplealice.net

works by tess de quincey


tess de quincey and stuart lynch
angharad wynne-jones and jonathan parsons, the performance space quarterly 9 (autumn 1996), pp. 14-38

on the go: australians performing internationally
keith gallasch, realtime 53, february-march, 2003

apprenticeship in the ephemeral
keith gallasch, realtime 56, august-september, 2003

tess de quincey
realtime, realtime 60, april-may, 2004

there’s research and there’s research
realtime, realtime, july 31, 2006

articles/reviews: other works by tess de quincey

compression 100, 1996
dancing the city
keith gallasch, realtime 11, february-march, 1996

strange attractors: shared perversity
jane goodall, realtime 14, august-september, 1996

butoh product #2 – nerve, 1999
boosting performance praxis
edward scheer, realtime 31, june-july, 1999

walking species 1, 2001
degrees of pathos: sydney performance
keith gallasch, realtime 41, february-march, 2001

shiver, 2002
de quincey co: ghostings
keith gallasch, realtime, december 2002-january 2003

embrace: an immodest green, 2004
embracing profusion
eleanor brickhill, realtime, august-september, 2004

five short solos, 2005
strange beasts
keith gallasch, realtime 68, august-september, 2005

dictionary of atmospheres, 2005
deep in the desert
rachel maher, realtime 69, october-november, 2005

the stirring, 2007
a once and future building
jodie mcneilly, realtime 82, december 2007-january 2008

ghost quarters, 2009
the dance of inner space
keith gallasch, realtime 91, june-july, 2009

run – a performance engine , 2009
dancing heavy metal
pauline manley, realtime 93, october-november, 2009

box of birds
history never repeats
Caroline Wake, with Keith Gallasch and Virginia Baxter

Thumbnail: Tess de Quincey, Nerve 9, photo Russell Emerson