Critical Path Half Year Review Jul-Dec 2016

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“Properly resourced research and development, respect for experiment, tolerance of failure and support of those working at the unknown margins and the frontiers is every bit as important as resourcing those creative industries which are currently sexy [ ].” Robyn Archer

CHOREOGRAPHIC RESEARCH HUB Critical Path and the Creative Practice Lab School of Arts and Media, UNSW A program of research activity and professional development happening in July at the Drill Hall and UNSW. Workshops: WRITING DANCING GROUP CONTEXTUAL CHOREOGRAPHY WITH SIMO KELLOKUMPU Conversations: CHATROOM Research Residencies & Labs: RHIANNON NEWTON EMMA SAUNDERS BROOKE STAMP SIMO KELLOKUMPU (FINLAND)

Opposite page: Writing Dancing Group at the Drill Hall. Photo: Claire Hicks

EMMA SAUNDERS Responding to her current interests to where dance and visual art can intersect, Emma proposed a new exploration of the place of dance around the interface with visual arts practice.

RHIANNON NEWTON Rhiannon’s practice spans choreography, dancing, lecturing and a body of work that pursues relations between dance and repetition. Rhiannon eperimented with questions arising from her ongoing Bodied Assemblies practice.

Emma is a Sydney based dance artist working across a range of platforms as a dancer, choreographer, curator, teacher and outside eye, and is also a co-founding member of The Fondue Set.

This page: Rhiannon Newton Responsive Research Residency. Photo: Cleo Mees Opposite page: Emma Saunders Responsive Research Residency. Photo: Heidrun LĂśhr



Brooke is a Melbourne and Sydney based dance and choreographic artist working between improvisational movement practice, sound & performance installation. Her works fundamentally draw from hyperreal rhythms inherent to the movement of the universe, the earth and the human body, as well as relationships to scientific, mystical and spatial experiences of time. For her residency, Brooke has been exploring of im/ material bodily forces through improvisation and collaborative practices in sound, smell and material forms.

Finnish choreographer Simo Kellokumpu graduated from Theatre Academy of Finland’s MA program in Choreography in 2003 and he is based in Helsinki. He is interested in thinking about contemporary choreography as an artistic practice where choreographic proposals are intended to be realized and contextualized through the articulation, shifting, moving and opening of temporal, spatial, social and material circumstance. During his residency Simo held a two day workshop focusing on the relations between a context and a choreography through the lens of movement. Participants shared choreographic methodologies through discussing and presenting artistic experiments done during the workshop.

Pages 6-7: Brooke Stamp Responsive Research Residency. Photo: Brooke Stamp. Page 8: Photo by Rafaela Pandolfini Following pages: Simo Kellokumpu workshop & residency. Photo: Claire Hicks & Simo Kellokumpu

RAGHAV HANDA Raghav investigated the use of speed/ pace in his practice using the Kathak principle of dynamic shift – extreme rapid motion punctuated by sudden periods of stillness. He tested his ability to control rapid movement and his patience to dissolve into nothing using “Trital”, rhythmic dance patterns built around four measures of four beats each. Raghav is an Australian choreographer and performer of Indian heritage with training in modern and Indigenous contemporary dance, with a solid history of performances across Australia and overseas.

LATE CALL STUDIO SPACE JULY Critical Path responded to requests from two local artists to spend time in the studio in the lead up to presenting new projects. Anna Kuroda worked on ‘A dust’ and ‘Window’ which she then presented in Tokyo, Japan. Patrick ‘Lucky’ Lartey worked on a short solo ‘Made in Ghana’ for gallery presentation and on movement in remounting ‘Jamestown’.

Previous page: Raghav Handa Responsive Research Residency. Image: Raghav Handa Opposite page: Open Studio – Geraldine Balcazar. Image: Geraldine Balcazar

OPEN STUDIOS In the second part of the year CP held a series of Open Studios. These short notice studio programs were offered for artists with a choreographic research or development idea. A space only opportunity, many of the artists worked in an open studio format which encourages cross-fertilization of ideas and skills, while each artist has their own project interests. JULY: LUX E:TERNA WITH KIRSTEN PACKHAM AND KATHRYN PUIE MATT CORNELL GERALDINE BALCAZAR OMER AND SHARON BACKLEYASTRACHAN SMADAR GOSHEN BONNIE COWAN KIRSTEN PACKHAM AUGUST: RHIANNON NEWTON KIRSTEN PACKHAM


“I’m so grateful to have been able to work in the Critical Path space for the last two days. It was inspiring to be amongst other independent artists working creatively on their own projects too.” Tanya Voges

Opposite page: Open Studio – Rakini Devi. Image: Rakini Devi

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES RHIANNON NEWTON “Doing Dancing” Rhiannon collaborated with visual artist Benjamin Forster to develop a live process of digitally archiving the act of doing dancing with accumulative sound and visual documents that further manifest the inevitable erasure of the performed event. Imagined as durational ceremony for dance, this solo project involves reiterating acts of dancing and reading in relation to Gertrude Stein’s textual portrait of Isadora Duncan ‘Orta or One Dancing’.

Rhiannon undertook a Research Room & Space Residency before travelling to Switzeland to explore her ideas further. She engaged with the local dance community and presented some of the material she was working on. Nov 6-15: Lo Studio Nov 20-Dec 5: Tanzhaus Zurich Part of an international program of reciprocal dance residencies in Australia and Switzerland. The program involves artists Simon Wehrli & Jasmina Krizaj (Switzerland) exchange to NSW in 2017/18. CP partnership with Bundanon Trust.

Opposite page: Matt Shilcock, Without Borders in Chiang Mai. Image: Matt Shilcock

MATT SHILCOCK Matt embarked on a practice research trip that will take him in 2017 to Nottingham, UK (with Dance4) He spent December in Thailand.

RESEARCH ROOM AND SHARINGS IVEY WAWN Ivey spent time in the research room thinking about reproduction and representation as disguises for the choreographer (or dancer), and as openings for the production of new material. She looked at the role of sensation in her practice and at what actions produce, on and for subjects and objects. An extension on an ongoing dance project for one live body, “Spectral”, developed at Critical Path, Bundanon, and ReadyMade Works, it also functioed as an initial stage for a new performance project for CRACK theatre Festival Newcastle, NSW.

Opposite page: Beyond Blokes. Image: Matt Cornell

FEEDBACK & SHARING EVENT POTLUCK Pot Luck is about blurring the edges of readiness, and about willing curiosity. It is a performance, a chat, a group hug, a commune, a hangout, an incubator, an open field. It is whatever you want it to be! We make it together, with who is there, working it out in the working out. Everyone is a VIP. A project initiated by Ivey Wawn, Miranda Wheen and Angela Goh, hosted at CP during Ivey’s Research Room residency.

RESEARCH & SHARING - BEYOND BLOKES In the lead up to their residency at Frankston Arts Centre, Joshua Thomson and Matt Cornell shared the language and thinking being built around this project in an effort to be more rigorous with both. Attendance was by invitation only. This sharing event followed a research room residency by the artists. It focused on Blokes: A new dance performance drawing on stories gathered from a month on the road through the top end of Australia, stories from ‘Aussie blokes’, beyond the beer …

FEEDBACK EVENT - NOTHING TO BUY // NOTHING TO SELL // NOTHING TO LOSE Curated by Diane Busuttil this participation only event was a chance to experiment with a performative idea in front of like-minded artists. Taking place in a large studio with an intimate setting, the aim of the event was to support the needs of each artist. The only “audience” members are other participants: Anna Kuroda, Fiona McGregor, Vanessa Marian, Julie-Anne Long, Diane Busuttil & Abigail Portwin.

SHIAN LAW Melbourne-based performance artist who aligns himself with experimentalism, new dance practice and interdisciplinary collaboration. He has worked with Jo Lloyd, Thea Baumann (Aphids), Phillip Adams’ Balletlab, Brooke Stamp and Deanne Butterworth. He has received the Melbourne Fringe Best Dance Award for Proximate Edifice and the Award for Innovation in Dance and Best New Work Dance Australia for Body Obscure Object. He was also a recipient of JUMP Mentoring in 2012, a Lucy Guerin Inc residency, Performance Space Residency and Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts residency.

Opposite page: Shian Law workshop at University of Sydney. Photo: Fabiana Serafim

CATALYST DANCE In partnership with Accessible Arts. An intensive choreographic laboratory over six-days at the Drill Hall, Catalyst Dance participants had the opportunity to engage with leading dance practitioners with disability as they undertook practice-based research. This process reflected each choreographer’s interests and choreographic explorations and was led by Mark Brew and Sarah-Vyne Vassallo. The Catalyst Dance Residency is a national artist development program across two years supporting 14 dance practitioners with and without disability who have a demonstrated commitment to integrated dance practice. Participating Artists: Joshua Campton, Tara Coughlans, Chris Dyke, Elle Evangelista, Jianna Georgiou, Zakaria Ghomri, Kayah Guenther, Lorcan Hopper, Matthew Massaria, Max McAuley, Annabel Saies, Charlie Smith, Allycia Staples, Karen Veldhuizen Program Director: Sarah-Vyne Vassallo

CRITICAL DIALOGUES Guest Edited by Sarah-Vyne Vassallo, in this issue choreographers speak about their experiences and claiming spaces as artists with disability.

Previous page: Catalyst Dance Workshop at the Drill Hall. Photo: Gisella Volmer This page: Cover of Critical Dialogues – Claiming Spaces. Image of Dan Daw. Image Design: Keegan Spring.

WORKSHOPS LIZ AGGISS MISTRESSCLASS : RECOVERING THE BODY FROM THE LIBRARY Presented by Ausdance NSW and Critical Path Supported by the University of Sydney Liz presented her unique and distinctive research, process and choreographic practice over a one day workshop. This fast tasking, quick thinking, performance-making workshop invited participants to swiftly recover bodies from their libraries, dance the grotesque, reinvent expressionist works, brush up against Ausdruckstanz and write and deliver smart texts for the moving body.

Liz Aggiss is a British solo artist, artiste, performer, dancer, choreographer and dance film-maker. Creating her work for small cabaret spaces, the stage and screen her work is driven by content, embodies feminist dance practices and is framed by the politics that challenge and resist the ‘authority’ of formal conventions. It is noted for its anarchic grotesque dance, visuality and humour.

Opposite page: Liz Agiss mistressclass at University of Sydney. Photo: Fabiana Serafim

NACERA BELAZA This workshop was the first, and only to date, by Nacera in Australia. Opening up her process of generating movement. Nacera took the group through two exercises in this four-hour intensive. Working with the idea of finding and responding to an imagined and internalised ‘image’ Nacera pushed the group to create movement with an acute sense of the listening & responsive body.

“Create, perform, transmit. Process for me has always been one and the same action which seeks to communicate a buried word that can only be heard through art.” Nacera Belaza

Born in Algeria, Nacera Belaza moved to France at the age of five where she studied French literature, before focusing on dance and establishing her own company in 1989. Belaza’s works have been presented internationally. She received the Prix de la Revelation Choregraphique by the French Critics Syndicate in 2008 and the Award La Danse in Quebec in 2009.

Opposite page: Nacera Belaza workshop – with Ausdance NSW. Photo: Claire Hicks

MATTHEW DAY Matthew spent two weeks at the Drill Hall exploring his ongoing research for his latest work Assemblage #1. This research is part of Days’ housemate 2016 residency and is a partnership between Dancehouse and Critical Path. Assemblage #1 deals with instinct, animality, ritual, catastrophe, deformation, and excess. He activates an environment of play and surrender, opening a field of relations between materials, actions, movements and perceptions, unfolding along wild and unrepeatable lines of flight and fancy. . In a queer way, it proposes alternative experiences of what matters in being together, and forever, the desire to dance.

Opposite page: Matthew Day residency sharing. Photo: Claire Hicks

During his residency Matthew ran a two hour movement research workshop experimenting with how everyday movements, such as walking, sitting, and standing may be deformed and turned towards dancing through attending to choreographic problems and scores. Matthew opened his studio practice for an informal work in progress showing of Assemblage #1. Attendees were invited to stay for a drink and conversation. Matthew Day studied Dance and Performance Studies in Sydney and Melbourne (2003-2005), in 2016 he completed a Masters of Choreography at the DAS Graduate School in Amsterdam. Raised in Sydney he was a teenage ballroom dancing champion. Matthew is interested in the potential of choreography to negotiate unorthodox relationships and propose new ways of being human.

LIVEWORKS A partnership with Performance Space. Critical Path partnered with Performance Space to present two artist talks for Liveworks Conversations - a series of forums which explore the ideas and processes behind the works of the artists performing at the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Arts. XiaoKe x ZiHan ran their first ever workshop with Critical Path during the festival.

DANCE AS PROTEST: LIESEL ZINK, KRISTINA CHAN, XIAOKE X ZIHAN Dance is a fleeting and abstract medium and is often thought of as more intuitive than didactic. The panel opened the conversation exploring the ability of dance to capture, distill and represent ideas to us in new ways and to create powerful reflections on the big questions. They discussed the potential to harness artforms as activism and the ability for dance to communicate complex ideas. Kristina Chan discussed her new work A Faint Existence which explores climate change and Liesel Zink discussed The Stance, a project that uses the movements of protestors to create choreography that makes us reconsider our relationships to public space. They were joined by Chinese collaborators XiaoKe x ZiHan (SoftMachine) who used their work to challenge censorship in their homeland.

MERGING FRONTIERS: PERFORMANCE IN THE ‘ASIAN CENTURY’ In a moment where Australia is rapidly redefining its relationship to Asia, what does this reimagination mean for cultural collaboration? How can we use this moment to transform the way we create culture in the region and devise exciting new forms to reflect these new connections? The panel of speakers consisted of Choy Ka Fai, who has researched choreography across Asian cultures for his SoftMachine project, Kee Hong Low the imaginative head of artistic development at West Kowloon Cultural District and Claire Hicks – the panel shared their experiences working crossculturally and their visions for what this new moment might entail.

XIAOKE X ZIHAN SOFTMACHINE: WORKSHOP This workshop provided a practical and theoretical introduction to the collaborative practice of XiaoKe x ZiHan (SoftMachine). Hailing from mainland China their work explores the body in its extremes, reflecting on the social and political context of a centrally planned economy. Working between disciplines and often in public space, XiaoKe and ZiHan explored their strategies for collaboratively devising socially engaged works.

Previous pages: XiaoKe x ZiHan workshop in Rushcutters Bay Park. Photos: Fabiana Serafim

BODY AS MATERIAL The second half of this solo practice development project took place in Bathurst and Parramatta. Participants were offered the opportunity to reflect on their own work, play, and support the others artists through exchange, feedback and dialogue. This project is a partnership between Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, FORM Dance Projects and Bundanon Trust. Artists: Joshua Pether (WA), WeiZen Ho (NSW), Alison Plevey (ACT) and Ghenoa Gela (NSW). Facilitator: Julie Vulcan

These pages: Body as material invited sharing, Joshua Pether, at FORM, Parramatta. Photo: Fabiana Serafim

ERIC AVERY As a follow up to the Dana Waranara convergence 2015, Eric Avery was selected from a shortlist of six indigenous artists for a residency supported by a creative producer. Over a week in the Drill, Eric worked on extending his movement vocabulary and choreographicdecision making. Outside the studio space he worked with Performing Lines Creative Producer Narelle Lewis to talk through his ideas for developing his work going forward. Dana Waranara supports contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander choreographers to extend their practice and the life of an existing or a new work in development, and create pathways to new opportunities for the next generation of dancers and choreographers

Opposite page: Eric Avery – Dana Waranara residency. Image: Eric Avery

BODY OF IDEAS Body of Ideas is a program that looks at notions of the body and how it is being reflected back in society, in art and in dance. In 2016 Body of Ideas was curated by Critical Path Associate Artist Samantha Chester. TWO DAY PROVOCATION Fri 9 Dec 9-6pm: with facilitators Tim Darbyshire, Lee Wilson, Frances Barbe and Angela Goh Sat 10 Dec 9-6pm: with facilitators Tim Darbyshire, Lee Wilson, Frances Barbe and Angela Goh FORUM: THE FUTURE BODY Sun 11 Dec, 11-1pm Chaired by Critical Path Associate Artist Sam Chester, THE FUTURE BODY Forum invites people from variety of disciplines who explore the nature of the existing and potential forms of the body to ask the question: what will the body be in a hundred years from now? How do we see the changing landscape of its purpose, its expression, its usefulness?

Invited artists Lee Wilson, Angela Goh, Tim Darbyshire and Frances Barbe worked with participants exploring some thoughts on these provocations from the perspective of their current practices. They engaged with the themes in an act of play, in an act of violence, in an act of exploration, in an act of curiosity. This investigation was guided by four provocations that unpinned Chester’s travel as part of her Churchill Fellowship in 2014 and her subsequent research from 2015: The Body as an Idea The Body as an act of Impossibility The Body as a system that fails The Body as a Dilemma “This came out of an experience I had while travelling on my 2014 Churchill Fellowship. As part of that journey I participated in the Barcelona International Dance Exchange a five day platform for networking and exchange for dancers, choreographers and performers. The focus of the exchange was to provide space,

opportunity for conversation and a concentrated place to work together to research and develop material. As part of this process they run what they call B>Labs where all participants can bring in ideas related to a theme that is proposed by the facilitator, and engage themselves in an exploration or process. Each group has a facilitator, but his/her role is not to teach but rather it is a horizontal exchange of knowledge. During the five days there were up to eight B>Labs happening at any one time. The program is curated by Sebastián García Ferro (AR/ ES) and happens in spring each year in Barcelona. When I was there, over 50 artists from around the world participated, it was very exciting as each day you were involved in someone else process or idea. The ideas ranged from exploring perpetual motion of choreographic structures, to ideas of risk in performance to dancing with the internal systems of the body. What was also interesting was the sharing at the end of the day, so people coming together to show or discuss work. I understand that this is not a new idea but there was something about it – the way it has been developed. There was so much aspiration, desire and ambition to make good work from deep

Previous pages: Body of Ideas. Photos: Lucy Parakhina

fascinations and sharing. It was a very connecting experience and what was even more relevant was that it reminded me that we were all in the same game, that we are all looking to make work that reflects back this tenuous life. What I also got was the sheer volume of how the body was being witnessed, cajoled seduced and constructed by these 50 artists and as a way to pay homage to this time I created a list of what I experienced. THIS IS THE LIST The body as an act of theatre The body as home The body as something separate The body as a dilemma The body as juxtaposition The body as story The body as an idea……..only! The body as a point of inspiration The body as an insult The body as systems that can fail The body as a container The body as an act of revolution The body as an act of movement The body as a creator The body as an act of death The body as an act of impossibility” Sam Chester

ANTONY HAMILTON Melbourne choreographer Antony Hamilton introduced participants to improvisational tools and games for groups, as a way to experience and observe patterns, difference and similarity. They were used to offer insights into the collective, the individual, cooperation and attention. The workshop discussed ‘the body as a system that fails’ in relation to physical and mental agency, perceptions of ‘exactness’, knowledge and practice, ageing and entropy, and the notions of free will and determinism. Antony Hamilton is an independent choreographer. His award winning creations involve a sophisticated melding of movement, sound and visual design. His major works include the

seminal Black Project 1 (2012), critically acclaimed MEETING (2015) and NYX for the 2015 Melbourne Festival. He has created numerous national and international commissions including Keep Everything and I Like This for Chunky Move, Black Project 3 for The Lyon Opera Ballet and Sentinel for Skanes Dansteater. Antony was the inaugural recipient of the Russell Page Fellowship in 2004, Tanja Liedtke Fellowship in 2009, a Creative Australia Fellowship in 2012, and Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2014. He was guest dance curator at The National Gallery of Victoria in 2013-14, honorary Resident Director at Lucy Guerin Inc in 2014 and inaugural Resident Artist at Arts House in 2015.

Opposite page: Anthony Hamilton workshop. Photo: Fabiana Serafim

CHATROOM Chatroom our monthly get together event happening continued for the second half of the year... an informal opportunity to talk about all things choreography, catch up with old friends, make new ones, tackle our critical question or simply tell us what you have been up to. As part of our interest to instigate interesting conversation and dialogue, the final Chatroom of 2016 was held to coincide with the final in the series of the Australian Institute of Architect’s Tuesday Night Talks, curated by Ashley Dunn RAI; the evening featured Dr Michael Tawa – Professor of Architecture, Sydney University in conversation with Critical Path’s Director, Claire Hicks. It took place at Tusculum, Potts Point.

These pages: Slide Presentation Chatroom/AIA Tuesday Night Talks. Image: Michael Tawa

SUPPORTERS Critical Path is an initiative of Arts NSW, supported by program funding from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

Theatre and Performance Studies


YOU CAN SUPPORT CRITICAL PATH TOO Innovation in any field doesn’t happen without dedicated time and space for research and development. Critical Path provides opportunities for Australian choreographers to incubate new ideas and experiments taking their work and the art form forward. Your donation goes to improving our support for independent artists; to provide critical creative infrastructure to the dance and choreography community such as space, time, technical resources and, where we can, income to artists. All donations to Critical Path are tax deductible.

Front cover: Cover page: Body of Ideas. Photo: Lucy Parakhina Back cover: Brooke Raghav Handa Responsive Research Residency. Image: Raghav Handa

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