Watch dance per­for­mance un­fold­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Dance - Tanya Macnaughton

WRAPPING Christ­mas presents this year will be a piece of cake for Unkempt Dance founders and chore­og­ra­phers Carly Arm­strong, Amy Wise­man and Jes­sica Lewis fol­low­ing their City of Perth Win­ter Arts Sea­son com­mis­sion.

The 40-minute work I’m Dreaming of a White Chrysalis, named dur­ing an over-caf­feinated brain­storm­ing ses­sion, sees the col­lec­tive per­form­ing in an empty shop win­dow where the set and them­selves be­gin wrapped in re­cy­cled paper.

“A liv­ing room is blan­keted in white – each sofa, lamp, cush­ion, plant and book is in­di­vid­u­ally wrapped with paper, as though packed away for the win­ter,” Arm­strong said.

“The work un­folds slowly with the three wrapped-up fig­ures sip­ping co­coa from a paper-cov­ered mug or read­ing from a paper-cov­ered novel.

“As the per­form­ers be­gin to move and in­ter­act, small rips ap­pear in the paper, each move­ment open­ing them fur­ther and free­ing the dancers.

“Grad­u­ally over the course of a per­for­mance the room thaws to re­veal the colours and life of the room be­neath. Cabin fever starts to take hold with the three dancers tum­bling over the fur­ni­ture and each other, the room shed­ding its win­ter coat and trans­form­ing in a flurry of paper and dis­or­der.”

Arm­strong said the trio, who met dur­ing their WAAPA days, be­came in­ter­ested in this year’s Win­ter Arts Sea­son af­ter learn­ing the City of Perth was call­ing for works to bring life to dis­used sites around the city.

I’m Dreaming of a White Chrysalis will be in the old Saba store in Car­il­lon City, op­po­site L’oc­c­i­tane on the ground floor near the Hay Street en­trance, creat­ing an un­ex­pected view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in a world re­moved from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the ar­cade out­side.

“We were in­ter­ested in creat­ing some­thing that would vis­ually show the pass­ing of time,” Arm­strong said.

“Since we would be lo­cated in a thor­ough­fare, we thought it was im­por­tant that what we cre­ated would be in­ter­est­ing both for some­one just pass­ing by and an au­di­ence mem­ber who stuck around to watch the whole piece un­fold.

“The paper rips and comes apart in dif­fer­ent ways each time as we move through it, so the work is very alive and un­pre­dictable for us as per­form­ers. The trick­i­est part is that as we are com­pletely wrapped up at the be­gin­ning, we are per­form­ing blind for about the first third of the work.”

I’m Dreaming of a White Chrysalis is on 11.30am and 1pm, July 5, 6, 12 and 13.

Pic­ture: Dar­ren Smith

Unkempt Dance chore­og­ra­phers Amy Wise­man, Jes­sica Lewis and Carly Arm­strong.

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