lucy guerin inc

Ross Coulter, Simon Obarzanek, Antony Hamilton, Byron Perry, Untrained, Lucy Guerin Inc

Ross Coulter, Simon Obarzanek, Antony Hamilton, Byron Perry, Untrained, Lucy Guerin Inc

Ross Coulter, Simon Obarzanek, Antony Hamilton, Byron Perry, Untrained, Lucy Guerin Inc

Lucy Guerin Inc has been established in Melbourne since 2002, gaining momentum through the steady production and touring of well received dance works. Guerin occupies a focal place in the Australian dance ecology, maintained by the excellence of her choreography, the diversity of her artistic collaborators and presenting partnerships and her support for emerging artists. Guerin has a generous and modest persona, which carries through into her quietly authoritative work.

Born in Adelaide, Lucy Guerin graduated from the Centre for Performing Arts in 1982 before dancing for Russell Dumas (Dance Exchange) and Nanette Hassall (Danceworks). She moved to New York in 1989 for seven years and danced with Tere O’Connor Dance, Bebe Miller and Sara Rudner. Guerin’s pedigree shows in work that is highly crafted, fascinated by choreography and eager to explore aspects of everyday behaviour inside abstract frameworks.

In the last five years, Guerin’s profile in Australia has developed significantly. Previously, she was prolific but her repertoire was varied to the point of experimentation. Works presented in New York or in Melbourne’s more peripheral theatres combined with a programme for ACMI’s gallery spaces to introduce an energetic new vision to the contemporary Australian dance scene.

It was not until 2005 that Guerin began to achieve the rhythm that now enables her to create and present work in major festival contexts and important spaces like Melbourne’s Malthouse and Sydney Opera House.

The programme of short works, Love Me, and the full evening production, Aether, both premiered in 2005, followed in 2006 by another major premiere, Structure and Sadness. These works remain in Guerin’s repertoire and have attracted national and international acclaim and prestigious prizes, including a Bessie (New York Dance and Performance Award) for choreography for her work Two Lies in 1997, a 2000 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for Achievement by an Individual, a Helpmann Award for Best New Dance Work (Structure and Sadness) in 2007, and the 2008 Australian Dance Award for Best Performance by a Company.

The coverage of Guerin’s progress elaborated in RealTime’s archives, depicts her movement from the margins to the mainstream in terms of presentation. It maps this trajectory with the altogether less predictable diversity of her interests. A preview of Corridor, which premiered at Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2008 also explores Guerin’s contemporaneous collaboration with Japanese choreographer Kota Yamazaki. A review of Guerin’s Love Me, is followed in the subsequent edition of RealTime with a review of her annual commissioning program for emerging choreographers, Pieces for Small Spaces. Guerin’s collaborations with visual artists such as Patricia Picinnini and David Rozetsky show her willingness to be challenged by peers with a signature aesthetic. This openness extends into sound, as Japanese composer, vocalist and producer Haco, created the score for Corridor and Guerin has worked with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera. Guerin also collaborated with Chunky Move on Tense Dave and Two Faced Bastard, works that toured to the US.

The most recent RealTime reference to Guerin places her at the forefront of developments in Australian dance. Touring more widely than ever internationally, she is also extending into the Australian regions and will embark upon her longest ever tour in 2011 through the Australia Council supported Roadwork touring circuit. Untrained, the piece that offers Guerin this breakthrough, was exhaustively reviewed in RealTime’s Dance Massive residency and the range of responses to the work proves how many nerves Guerin is able to touch.
Sophie Travers

reviews: lucy guerin inc

consumption a la mode
phillipa rothfield: arcade

expectation and revelation
phillipa rothfield: melt

immaculate melding
keith gallasch: melt and the end of things

bodies as signals, nodes, networks
john bailey: aether

love undone
keith gallasch: love me

lateral moves
phillipa rothfield: pieces for small spaces

risky business adds aesthetic value
philipa rothfield: structure & sadness

a spontaneous sounding
jodie mcneilly: aether

nothing hidden, nothing much gained
carl nilsson-polias: untrained

reality dance
keith gallasch: untrained

reviews: collaborations with chunky move

contaminating bodies, existential dances
jonathan marshall: tense dave

awestruck by dance
john bailey: two-faced bastard

interviews & related articles

between temperature and temperament
jonathan marshall interviews lucy guerin

melbourne international arts festival: inside out/outside in
sophie travers interviews lucy guerin

a branching practice
gail priest interviews haco

purist, improvisor, shape-shifter
sophie travers interviews anthony hamilton

australian dance: unseen at home
sophie travers: national dance touring & roadwork

1 March 2010