|Rachelle Hickson, Reading the Body, Sue Healey & Adam Synott|
New Zealand poet Jenny Borholt’s text provides more layers: “The body as intention. It means well. Is full of good intent. Body as desire.” It’s a fittingly elusive and alluring entrée to the experience of GESTURE, part of ReelDance 2010, a screen-based exhibition running across the UNSW Kensington Campus and, according to the notes, “exploring the performance territory between dance, the everyday and dramatic body.”
Curator Erin Brannigan writes, “Choreography can play with our knowledge of gestural performance, occupying the space between walking and dancing, action and elaboration, communication and expression…These works take the choreographic manipulation of gesture further by spreading the performances across screens, dislocated spaces, manufactured locations and defamiliarised temporalities.”
|Anna Mittel, Promise of Fallen Time, Isabel Rocamora|
|Assembly, Kate Murphy|
Twenty-four children in school uniforms stand in four rows inside a school hall. From time to time their arms move sideways or clutch at their hearts, hands inscribe crosses on their chests. The rhythms of the children’s gestures and their wobbly stillness fit neatly into the fabric, subtly shaking the bland edifice they occupy
I read in the program that these children are moving in response to "reflection exercises" being read from prayer cards that are used daily in the Australian Catholic primary school system: “Close your eyes and imagine that you are being held closely, tenderly in the arms of a most loving person…Whisper in your heart, “I am surrounded by God’s loving protection.” I shiver.
|Georgie Read, Vivaria, Sam James, installation view|
To experience Vivaria in full requires standing for 26 minutes halfway up the stairs—not something that comes easily to students in the School of Busy-ness who are more likely to accumulate a vision of the work in fragments. I imagine Vivaria functions quite well in this way too. One student asked me why I’m so immersed. “Are you searching for the meaning?” he asks and I imagine one could do worse these days in the School of Business.
|Tony Yap, Melangkoli - Sen Siao, Sean O'Brien|
GESTURE offers many such disconcerting breaks in the continuum, a series of small shocks that open the mind to the world beyond surfaces. It’s a pertinent provocation and a gift to that increasingly fluid and fast moving entity called the student body.
GESTURE: Performance/Film/Dance,ReelDance Installations #04: Reading the Body, choreographer, filmmaker, editor Sue Healey, digital artist Adam Synott, music Darrin Verhagen, animation Adnan Lalani, cinematography Judd Overton, performer Rachelle Hickson, Io Myers Studio; Promise of Fallen Time, director, choreographer Isabel Rocamora, featuring Anna Mittel, Enric Majo, photography Nic Knowland, sound design, Jem Noble, Io Myers Studio; Samuel James, Vivaria, dancers Martin del Amo, Lizzie Thomson, Peter Fraser, Georgie Read, Linda Luke, sound Gail Priest, consultant Paul Gazzola; Assembly, Kate Murphy, Australian School of Business; Melangkoli—Sen Siao, writer, filmmaker, editor Sean O’Brien, choreography, dance Agung Gunawan, Tony Yap, music Madeleine Flynn, Tim Humphrey, Robert Webster Building; University of NSW, June 15-19
RealTime issue #97 June-July 2010 pg. web
© Virginia Baxter; for permission to reproduce apply to email@example.com