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

magazine  archive  features  rt profiler  realtimedance  mediaartarchive
back

Dance Massive 2011

March 15-27, 2011


 Da Contents H2

March 29 2011
sounds massive
gail priest: the soundtracks of dance massive

the limits of the extraordinary
nilsson-polias: force majeure, not in a million years, dance massive

March 27 2011
let's dance—and we do
jana perkovic: bluemouth inc, dance marathon, dance massive

the unexploited
keith gallasch: antony hamilton, drift, dance massive

March 26 2011
post-apocalyptic drive-in dancing
carl nilsson-polias: antony hamilton, drift, dance massive

suspending self, time & disbelief
keith gallasch, virginia baxter: trevor patrick, i could pretend the sky is water, dance massive

talkin' 'bout my generation
philipa rothfield: becky, jodi & john, john jasperse company, dance massive

the truth of the matter, or not
jana perkovic: gideon obarzanek, faker, chunky move dance massive

March 24 2011
erupting from the archive
carl nilsson-polias: balletlab, amplification, dance massive

realtime video interview: trevor patrick
i could pretend the sky is water

March 23 2011
in the heat of the moment
keith gallasch: deanne butterworth, matthew day, dance massive

the ambiguities of happiness
jana perkovic: shaun parker, happy as larry, dance massive

March 22 2011
displacements: space, stage, workplace
keith gallasch: branch nebula's sweat & other works

present, tense
virginia baxter: luke george, now now now: dance massive

realtime video interview: luke george
now now now

March 20 2011
realtime video interview: gideon obarzanek
connected

realtime video interview: madeleine flynn & tim humphrey
music for imagined dances

realtime video interview: michelle heaven & brian lucas
disagreeable object

realtime video interview: rosalind crisp
no one will tell us...

March 19 2011
the poisoned pea
virginia baxter: michelle heaven, disagreeable object, dance massive

turning the tables, working the audience
carl nilsson-polias: sweat, branch nebula, dance massive

March 18 2011
dance like never before
keith gallasch: rosalind crisp, no one will tell us...; dance massive

the uneasy weight of metaphor
virginia baxter: shaun mcleod, the weight of the thing left its mark

March 17 2011
into the dance-scape
jana perkovic: narelle benjamin, in glass, dance massive

kinetics: sculpted & danced
carl nilsson-polias: connected, chunky move, dance massive

the art machine dances
keith gallasch: connected, chunky move, dance massive

March 16 2011
ghost dancing
keith gallasch: narelle benjamin, in glass, dance massive

journey of the tribe
jana perkovic: herbertson & cobham, sunstruck, dance massive

March 10 2011
kinetic art machine makes waves for dance
john bailey: reuben margolin & chunky move's connected

February 21 2011
dance massive 2011 artists: from the archive
force majeure, not in a million years; narelle benjamin, in glass, chunky move, faker; branch nebula, sweat; shaun mcleod, the weight of the thing left its mark: luke george, now, now, now; phillip adams amplification

the meeting point
sophie travers: steven richardson, dance massive

 

Drift Drift
photo Byron Perry
ANTONY HAMILTON’S PREVIOUS FULL-LENGTH WORKS HAVE BEEN UNIFIED BY A PREDILECTION FOR THE ADOLESCENT OR NAÏVE. IN THE EXCELLENT BLAZEBLUE ONELINE (SEE RT85), IT WAS THE PLAYFUL MARK MAKING OF GRAFFITI MIXED WITH CARDBOARD BOX TRANSFORMERS. IN I LIKE THIS, HAMILTON, TOGETHER WITH BYRON PERRY, ENDED A PIECE ABOUT DANCE CREATION WITH A BEAUTIFUL IMAGE OF THEMSELVES AS PRELAPSARIAN BOYS UNDER A DOONA—FASCINATED BY THE MAGIC OF LIGHT, THE POSSIBILITY OF IMAGINATION. IN DRIFT, THE THEME CONTINUES WITH WHAT FEELS LIKE A PASTICHE OF HEAVY METAL COMIC BOOK TROPES.

On the other hand, the clearest point of difference between Drift and Hamilton’s earlier work is that this one eschews the theatre and takes place under a highway. Whether it is the epic scale of Peter Brook’s Mahabharata in a disused quarry, or the intimate celebration of the Flinders Street—Elizabeth Street intersection by The League of Resonance, site-based works call on their environs and their architecture for framing, for meaning, for reflection. Hence, it seems utterly appropriate that a work set underneath a highway should also be a drive-in show, where we park side-by-side and tune in to the soundtrack’s frequency. In fact, there is a giddy thrill in being given a map and a radio frequency instead of a ticket.

And so, in the gravel and dust beneath the CityLink overpass, down past the Xanadu tent, beside the film studios, in the shadow of the crippled remains of the Southern Star Observation Wheel, across Railway Canal from the city of shipping containers, in front of a row of cars, Antony Hamilton and friends create a post-apocalyptic vision. In that sense, this is a work that responds to its space. The Docklands, and the Wheel in particular, are the perfect location for an examination of the end of history, the folly of civilisation and the browbeaten individual.

Drift has already begun when we arrive. Three dancers are crouching and fretting their way across the ground in single file. They are led by a man in a dust-coloured hoodie who is shadowed at every step and bounce by a pair of ninjas. Yes, they are almost certainly ninjas. A soundtrack of noise, hum and beeps on our radio begins to divulge string instruments, percussion, an incoherent voice or scream. Above us, the tops of concrete pillars flicker with an enigmatic light.

Alisdair Macindoe, Drift, Antony Hamilton Alisdair Macindoe, Drift, Antony Hamilton
photo Byron Perry
We are watching from some distance, through the inherent frame of a windscreen with the necessary intermediary of glass at a landscape-cum-set that is vast in reach and scale. Yet, the dance itself is small and precise, with the physical strobe of jerking motions that Hamilton has incorporated so frequently in his work. Therein lies a problem. There is already a detachment in sitting behind glass, in being in the familiar space of one’s car and there is a distance between audience and the barely-lit dancers. One senses that Hamilton wants to play with this detachment in the sense of its consequent voyeurism—we have stumbled upon a strange world in a place we have no call to visit normally. Given that there is no follow-through either on the notion of gaze, or on our presence, this feels like a conceptual cul-de-sac. Instead, these distancing factors compound to obscure and detract from the choreography. Or rather, the choreography does not fully meet the demands of the location. In this sense, Drift does not respond to its space but merely uses it as a backdrop.

Nevertheless, there are glimpses of what might have been. After the ninjas have left, a woman emerges in nothing more than boots, undies and bejewelled bracelets swinging a large tree branch in desperate circles. The image is strikingly strange and drew some confused looks from a group of young men who happened to wander past. But the image that stands out is when the woman, trying to plant the lifeless branch in the barren ground, holds onto its bulk to stop herself from falling. A spotlight falls on her and the wind blows her hair dramatically to one side. The image of nakedness, lifelessness and futility is framed perfectly by the massive concrete pillars and suddenly the work responds to its epic setting with an image of epic decay.

Drift finishes with a disappearing act. The topless woman, the ninjas and their leading man have clashed but eventually come to terms and, together, hugging the contours of concrete, they escape from view and we are ushered to start our engines and depart. As we drive off, talk turns to deserts and princesses, shamans and evil warlords, Conan the Barbarian and the 70s. The adolescent pop culture of the drive-in lives on.


Dance Massive, Arts House: Drift, creator, director Antony Hamilton, performers Alisdair Macindoe, Jess Wong, Lily Paskas, Melanie Lane, sound designer Robin Fox, additional music Robin Fox Clayton Thomas, costume designer Paula Levis, video artist Kit Webster; Docklands, Melbourne, March 24-27

© Carl Nilsson-Polias; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

Back to top