A short dance step

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Dance - Tanya MacNaughton

IN Short – In Situ will con­tinue to chal­lenge its au­di­ence’s per­cep­tion of dance by pre­sent­ing a fourth in­stal­ment of con­tem­po­rary site-spe­cific works.

This year’s five in­de­pen­dent WA chore­og­ra­phers were asked by pro­duc­ers Unkempt Dance, in as­so­ci­a­tion with STRUT Dance, to cre­ate a work for one of the hid­den cor­ners or open spa­ces at Fre­man­tle Arts Cen­tre.

Chore­og­ra­pher and WAAPA graduate Emma Har­ri­son has rel­ished the op­por­tu­nity to ap­proach her art form in this un­con­ven­tional style.

“I’d seen a few shows at Fre­man­tle Arts Cen­tre so I was really in­ter­ested in making a work in that space which has a lot of history be­hind it,” the 23year-old said.

“I haven’t made a site-spe­cific work on other peo­ple be­fore and I find it really in­ter­est­ing making some­thing that’s not viewed from the com­fort of a seat where the au­di­ence is up and in­volved in it.

“I went along to the tour of the build­ing to see if there were any spa­ces or quirky cor­ners that sparked my in­ter­est and it went from there.”

Har­ri­son chose a two­s­torey stair­well with two land­ings for her three dancers to per­form a 10-minute piece, which the au­di­ence of 25 peo­ple can view from above or be­low.

“It’s like work­ing with a set and the way you cre­ate the move­ment isn’t like stand­ing in a stu­dio on a flat sur­face,” she said.

“It chal­lenges the dancers and the per­cep­tions of how the au­di­ence see it and how close they choose to stand to the ac­tion.

“Ev­ery night is go­ing to be dif­fer­ent, ev­ery au­di­ence is go­ing to be dif­fer­ent and ev­ery place you stand is like you’re watch­ing a dif­fer­ent work.”

Har­ri­son said her re­cent solo prac­tice, since re­turn­ing home from im­mers­ing her­self in the Euro­pean con­tem­po­rary dance scene, had in­volved col­lab­o­rat­ing with sev­eral mu­si­cian friends to start a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween im­pro­vised mu­sic and im­pro­vised dance.

Two of th­ese mu­si­cians have made a sound­scape for her In Short – In Situ work, fea­tur­ing per­cus­sion and sax­o­phone. Four other short dance works have been chore­ographed by Ky­nan Hughes, Emma Fish­wick, AIVDT: Ser­ena Chalker and Quin­dell Or­ton, Lin­ton Aberle and Sarah Chaf­fey.

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