Curious interstices

Keith Gallasch, DW98 forum

Waiting: empathetic evolution

Choreographer Sandra Parker tells us she has a bank of movement phrases, fragments, unformed images that she brings to the creative process. Composer Lawrence Harvey too, she says, brought different sounds to the studio; “the sound grew as the dance grew, a lovely experience, movement and sound filling the space at the same time.” Harvey notes that in this cumulative process he would find what direction the dance was going, “geometrically, not just gesturally.”

Someone asked how Waiting came about—from the quotation for Romeo and Juliet? “No”, answers Parker, “that came later. I was experimenting with how still you can be for how long.” Someone else asks, “How do you convert motion into stillness? Music always sounds like movement.” A dancer responds, “When waiting you create a diversion, you’re never quite still, and Lawrence picked up on that.”

Stung: trust

Darrin Verhagen tells us that Sue Healey was in Russia when the work finally came together in Melbourne, that she knows that he knows what she likes, “pops, scratches, tiny sounds”, and that he didn’t know the work would be humorous, it was not discussed, not that it mattered.

Live Opera Situation: languages

For Shelley Lasica “music is like a parallel text”, in this case several parallel texts—an obscure Polish opera and Indian music that the dancers listened and rehearsed to (but not heard in performance by the audience, but maybe ‘heard’ by the dancers) and then the composer’s offering added last. A dancer declares, “It was difficult, we had these other rhythms and then we had to match them with Franc Tétaz’s.” Another dancer says, “We establish our own rhythm, our own score, add another and have two sets of rhythms.” Franc Tétaz adds, “I was doing something very similar to you, though we speak very different languages.” Lawrence Harvey says that he “strives towards a common language through watching, through talking with dancers.”

Franc says he likes “to create an environment to invite the audience into Shelley’s work.” Something in Lasica’s body language suggests, ‘No, that’s not it.’ Lasica says, “It’s a matter of how music and dance intersect,” that she “creates a gap between movement and music.”

Dancers and music

The dancers say, “We always draw on the energy of the music, but sometimes it’s better to be grounded, to not go with the rise of the music, not get whipped up by it, just pick up on the cues, resist the music. Though with Darrin’s music we could get into it…but with Franc’s we had landmarks.” Tétaz muses, “I composed as if I was writing for scenes.”

Harvey declares, “The body is already polyrhythmic, the heart beat, the breathing, the issue of psychological time.”
Lasica closes, “Movement is not generated by music, but by many things, music is another layer.”

Dance Works, DW98 forum, July 24, Wesleyan Hall, Albert Park, July 15 – July 26

RealTime issue #27 Oct-Nov 1998 pg. 7

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 1998