Melbourne

Fabrication

Any time between 3pm and 6pm. That was the deal. Any time within a window. And with freedom to explore. Come and go, as you please. The doors will be left open. Take photos, should you choose. Inhabit the space as you would a public area. Like a park, say. Be a living part of an assemblage. Move within the space. Walk through to the library. Squat beneath the window, recline on the slope, lean against the wall, perch on the ledge just inside the door: it’s up to you. Come, stay, and go, as you please, the invitation stood.

Aftershock

Darkly, silvered, a grassland of manmade forms grows. It grows in the North Melbourne Town Hall. It is, for now, neatly contained within the designated performance space, but like all things in nature, it is as predictable as it is unpredictable. This constructed grassland of “over 270 poles, strips, or sheets of aluminium, brass, copper and sprung steel”[note]Ashley Dyer, Artist Statement, “Tremor” programme, Arts House, North Melbourne, Victoria, November 2016[/note] hums with life. Its presence felt from the moment I enter the space.

Dirty Laundry

The noise of the day drops away as I make my way to the upstairs studio of Dancehouse. I am one part of an increasingly hushed procession assembled on opening night to experience Sarah-Jane Norman’s “The River’s Children” (2013), and “Take This, For It Is My Body” (2010) paired with “Heirloom” (2013), and Nacera Belaza’s “The Shout” (2008), presented as part of Melbourne Festival.

Forces to Test

Down, instead of up. That is how things fall when they are dropped. But in the worlds of circus and dance, the body doesn’t have to give the appearance of being a servant to gravity. In the worlds of circus and dance, the body can defy gravity. And gravity is what pulls three pieces by three different choreographers together in Les 7 Doigts’ “Triptyque,” presented as part of Melbourne Festival at the Playhouse late on a Sunday afternoon.

Blowin’ Up

The warmth of the spring day did not hold in the Substation. Inside the capacious, high-ceilinged, former industrial space, it is never warm. It is resolutely sub-temperature. Seated for the first of three solos presented under the collective awning of “Blowin’ Up,” I sat, cleared my throat, and cleared my throat again. The cold of the building crept inside my chest with the intention to make me the spluttering, wheezing, noisy audience member. My defence of stoicism and Soothers was going to be tested.

Rolling Stones

“The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.”

Word Play

A grammatical exercise of ‘fill in the blanks’ had been laid at the feet of Ross McCormack and Stephanie Lake, and I was keen to see how they had picked it up and run with it.

Lines for Winter

Dedicated to Saura, “Stop-Motion” captures the fragility of people and place and nature. It is as beautiful as it is breaking; indescribably so, and owing in no small part to the visual spectacle of the dancers gliding through the swirling debris of 20kg of flour.

Close Up

“Lucid” is a work for one dancer and one actor, interchangeable. But not just any dancer and any actor: “Lucid,” is most of all is a work written specifically for Langlois (dancer) and Phillips (actor). This is their heroes and idols writ large.