Rosie Dennis: One from the heart

Winnie Love in the Rosie Dennis loop

Rosie Dennis, Love Song Dedication

Rosie Dennis, Love Song Dedication

Standing in a spotlight at the front of the stage wearing a green summer dress, Rosie Dennis uses her arms to pull into herself the recollection of past lovers. Recounting in a numerical sequence elements of relationships, she plays her breath like a musician, making staccato, stilted, percussive sounds. Modulating phrases to replay and explore all the possible angles on a past event, she holds in repeated gestures a lost lover’s body. As a soundtrack to these memories there are sweet, quirky songs.

If asked (outside this inside space) “How are you?” Dennis might say, “Oh okay you know” while whirring away inside is a jarring mechanism replaying regrets. In Love Song Dedication we see the inside, the unstoppable recollections. We are, for an intense 20 minutes, completely with her, breathing in with her the compulsive loop of recall. The performance is electric, its tautness sustaining our focus; there is no time or space to detach. Although not manic the performer endures attacks of panic like those dark episodes that appear in the cold sleepless hours. Some of the movements recalled for me a forgotten mechanism playing out a hapless sequence, like a damaged forsaken mechanical monkey. I saw raw representations of scattered recall, inducing states of near hyperventilation.

In spite of all this angst Dennis is funny, the audience appreciating the ridiculous fragments spilling forth—“I’m sorry I left you at the airport, on purpose”—bright evocative one-line pictures keep coming at breathtaking speed. Forlorn images express the failure to maintain a state of love.

It all happens right up on the front of the stage. Dennis is a very open performer without distracting attitude, sentiment or theories. The work was palpably female in its multitudinous attempts to explain what went wrong, and in the recognition that often saying sorry can be and can sound so feeble.

Rosie Dennis is a Sydney-based improvising vocalist, poet and performer.

Rosie Dennis, Love Song Dedication; The Cube, Feb 3

RealTime issue #72 April-May 2006 pg.

© Winnie Love; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

3 February 2006