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Body Weather workshop, Lake Mungo, 1992, 	Body Weather workshop, Lake Mungo, 1992,
photo Liz Dale
Tess de Quincey is a choreographer and dancer who has worked extensively in Europe, Japan and Australia as solo performer, teacher and director. The strongest influence on her performance came from her work over 6 years (1985-91) with Butoh dancer Min Tanaka and his Mai-Juku Company. Tanaka founded the term and philosophical basis for Body Weather, a broad-based and comprehensive training that embraces and builds on concepts of environment. Body Weather proposes a philosophical but also practical strategy to the mind and the body that is not just for ‘professional’ dancers or performance practitioners but is an open investigation that can be relevant for anyone interested in exploring the body. Drawing on elements of both eastern and western dance, sports training, martial arts and theatre practice, it is a discipline that develops a conscious relation without conforming to specific form. In solo and group works as well as her work with sculptor-dancer Stuart Lynch, Tess de Quincey proposes this practice within a contemporary western perspective as a training that can be applied as a pure body/mind research or aligned to dance and/or performance training.

De Quincey’s major solo productions, Movement on the Edge, Another Dust and is.2 have toured extensively in Europe and Australia and among her group pieces, Square of Infinity, a film and large-scale performance work, was the culmination of reflections on the specific time and space of the dry lake bed of Lake Mungo in the ACT. De Quincey/Lynch’s recent site-specific and time-based works include The Durational Trilogy, a series of pieces lasting 6, 12 and 24 hours) and Compression 100, a series of collaborative performances in and around Sydney.

Currently recipient of the Australia Council’s Choreographic Fellowship (1998-99), Tess de Quincey has initiated another large scale project focused this time in Australia’s Central Desert. The Triple Alice Project in partnership with Desart, the Centre for Performance Studies (Sydney University) and The Performance Space spans 3 years (1999-2001). It involves a forum as well as 3 live, site- and temporally-specific laboratories staged over 3 weeks of each year. The forum and laboratories are accessible through an interactive website, which is formative of and integral to the event.

Triple Alice 1 (September 20-October 10 1999) is a laboratory focusing on contemporary arts practices of the Central Desert and brings together Indigenous and non-indigenous artists from the Northern Territory and local guest speakers to contextualise the site. It includes a 3-week intensive Body Weather workshop in which participants will make sensory and experiential mappings of space—in this case, the landscape 100 kms north west of Alice Springs at Hamilton Downs in the MacDonnell Ranges. “The workshop involves some strenuous workouts to develop strength, flexibility and a strong physical grounding. The ground work provides insight into the different speeds of the body and the function of time. These practices also aim to sharpen sensorial focus, spatial awareness and coordinative perspectives”, says de Quincey. The workshop will be joined by a dance-performance unit and theorists and writers will maintain an onsite theoretical debate. The website will transmit the laboratory and invite remote participation—a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary meeting of theory and practice.

Triple Alice 2 in 2000 will involve a number of collaborative artists creating performance for web and screen. This second laboratory will build on the experience and language developed in the first and invite a wider range of responses, particularly from new media artists through physical attendance at the lab as well as remote interactive networking with it. Participation from remote sites will include live interstate linkups with art venues in the major cities. The emphasis will be on performance and art works specifically designed for electronic media.

Triple Alice 3 (2001) is an online international laboratory, seminar and festival. This event will correlate ideas of space and time in the different traditions of artistic practice and performance work with those of other disciplines including astrophysics, philosophy, astronomy, military research and navigation. In parallel with this exchange, live online performance and artworks will synthesise the results of the first 2 labs.

For more information on the Body Weather Workshop

RealTime issue #30 April-May 1999 pg. 35

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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