09/08/17 | Leap Into the Modern,
Ian Potter Centre, NGV, Melbourne, Australia
Dancing Sculpture was a programme of three works presented alongside the Brave New World Exhibition of art from the 1930s at the National Gallery Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne.
Acts of Becoming is a solo of displaced memories and survival traces. Originally made in 1995 as an homage to Gertrud Bodenwieser as part of a triptych for Carol’s PhD (University of Surrey, Guildford UK) it was re-developed for the NGV Exhibition Leap into the Modern. Words and gestures from the archives of former Bodenwieser Tanzgruppe dancers - Hilde Holger, Shona Dunlop, Magda Hoyos, Hilary Napier, Trudl Dubsky, Bettina Vernon and Evelyn Ippen – provide inter-textual layers to this resonant performance in which Brown plays host to their displaced dance memories. Brown reimagines the Bodenwieser Tanzgruppe as a dispersed pluriverse; a choreographic worldview marked by global, ecstatic, eccentric and sensual shapes and figures.The Demon Machine (1924) is a seminal work by the founder of Australia’s first modern dance company. Nearly 90 years after it was first performed in London, it was recreated for NGV exhibition Leap into the Modern. Thework has a rich history five women dancers are transformed from an Elysian Fields reverie to the rhythmic workings of a machine. Accompanied by the music of Lisa Maria Mayer, Bodenweiser created The Demon Machine to depict the Demon rising above the machinery of human bodies. Srong diagonal lines and extended limbs, suggest the clash of forces, inner and outer, that drive the machine.Releasing Her Archive (2017) is a single screen video that asserts the possibility for performance to remain rather than disappear. Through activating the corporeal traces of movements held in body archives of Bodenwieser’s dancers, Carol Brown and Thomas Kampe developed a movement collage of historical footage and contemporary choreography. Created with with dancers from the New Zealand Dance Company and Maryam Bagheri Nesami, it was shot by Meek Zuiderbyk and edited by Owa Barua. Music is by Russell Scoones.
Invited by curator, Rachel Fensham (The University of Melbourne), Carol recreated Gertrud Bodenwieser's iconic dance, The Demon Machine (1924) with students from the Victoria College of the Arts; performed her solo homage to the artistic legacy of Bodenwieser, Acts of Becoming (1994, 2017) and premiered the dance film, Releasing Her Archive.
Presented on Level 3 outside the exhibition, these works were presented through NGV's public programmes and were associated with a One Day Symposium, Leap into the Modern.
Reconstruction Advice—Shona Dunlop-MacTavish, Terry MacTavish, Barbara Cuckson
Rehearsal Direction—Jenny Kinder, Nina VeretennikovaVideo Editing & Design—Owa Barua
Costume Design—Alice Edgeley
Composition—Russell Scoones (Acts of Becoming; Releasing Her Archive), Lisa Mayer (The Demon Machine)Piano—John GrayingProduction—Natalie SmithPerformers—Phaedra Brown, Jazmyn Carter, Hayley Roe, Thalia Livingstone, Rachel Mackie, Carol BrownCommissioned By—The University of Melbourne