Phoebe and Julia Robinson

Philipa Rothfield

Sisters Phoebe and Julia Robinson have been working together and apart. Having trained separately (Phoebe at WAAPA, Julia at Deakin University), the sisters united in a short piece last year. There is something appealing about 2 sisters working together—how are their bodies related? How do they differ? What connections operate between them? To what extent are they the products of distinct forms of training, and to what extent are their similarities due to a shared familial history? There is a trace in their work that I suspect comes from a form of contemporary dance/ballet common to their training. This manifests in lunges, twists, and turns, a torso at the service of long limbs, raised, lifted and kicked. Phoebe performed in Lucy Guerin’s Melt last year, and Julia in a retrospective of Shelly Lasica’s work at the Ian Potter Gallery. Together they trialled a new work as part of the Next Wave Festival. Phoebe made a work for Bodyworks at Dancehouse earlier this year. She has a nice sense of speed and tempo. Like Paul Romano, she shows an interest in jointed action of the limbs but combines this with twists, turns, dips and spirals. Julia has perhaps made less work, but she has a lovely, clear sense of presence, a freshness of composure. This was evident in her solo at this year’s Dance Card (July, Dancehouse)—Julia is able to maintain an internal focus while being watched. Her being and her movement are one. Neither inside herself, nor outside, just present to the action. Fairly simple movements, lunges, turns, twists, changes of levels, very upright, now prostrate. In a flash of deformation an iliac crest leads a differentiated torso. I liked the moments in-between: given the space to fill what is often a void in dance works, Julia instead expands her perceptual appreciation.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 11

© Philipa Rothfield; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 2003
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