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SCAN 2003


4 Adelaide Artists

Anne Thompson


Ingrid Voorendt, Naida Chinner, Helen Omand and Astrid Pill are all making a significant impact on the South Australian dance and performance scene.

Ingrid Voorendt is developing her skills as a director in both theatrical and dance contexts. Using the setting of tasks, theatrical games and conversation to elicit material, she doesn’t impose movement material on those she works with, preferring to structure what the performers give her, thus foregrounding them. She works with both text and theme in this way. She is a warm, generous director, fantastic at structuring material using associative and visual logic. Her pieces are linked by a strong sense of spatial design, gestural language and playful games or physical tasks. Voorendt often contrasts spatial order with physically energetic improvisations that open out the space. She appears interested in metaphors and images that centre on but don’t ‘explain’ a theme and in the translation of ideas into visual, spatial design.

Naida Chinner is a choreographer and dancer with a background in gymnastics and contemporary dance training. She has a strong interest in the visual and often designs her performance environment. Her work lies somewhere between installation and dance performance and is marked by a nostalgia for innocence—childhood, dream love. She often uses love songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. The work is almost romantic in the way of romantic comedies—laced with quirky, offbeat humour in the slapstick style of Doris Day and Rock Hudson movies. It also features whimsy, longing, dreaminess. In contrast, Chinner usually includes physical sequences that require considerable endurance and/or strength. This gives grit and abandon that offsets the whimsy in this very detailed and refined work.

Astrid Pill is primarily a performer but is also emerging as a writer of performance texts. She is a highly skilled singer, dancer and actor and moves fluidly between modes. Her texts are highly poetic in the manner of Jeanette Winterson. Pill is a classically trained singer with an enormous range. She is startlingly present and direct as a performer. A strong element is her capacity to move between song and speech supported by physical image or movement. Some experience in the Grotowski process and impulse work with Netta Yaschin plays a role. Pill is a highly intelligent and luminous presence, well versed in literary and musical traditions and borrowing from different genres.

Helen Omand’s performance interest is in improvisation and processes of moving. She uses contact and improvisational structures, likes the risk and chance of improvisation and doesn’t like movement work that has easy referents. She also enjoys ‘goofy’ play. Some of her work has been multimedia in which different texts run parallel—video, language, movement, light. Omand likes opening up questions rather than answering them.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 43

© Anne Thompson; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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