Another great initiative from Dance Hub SA that I am pleased to be a recipient of is the Dance.Focus project, supporting the making of 4 new screendance works to be screened online from August 17.
My proposal, Communal Bloom Strategy brings together a group of dancers with whom I danced or studied in the 1980’s in Adelaide—dance and yoga teacher (and state treasure) Simi Roche who was my teacher/mentor during my BA Dance degree and beyond; Sarah Munn, my peer during my studies and co-founding member of Outlet Dance on graduation; and Sarah’s brother Aidan Munn, who also danced with Outlet Dance (after I had moved to Melbourne to join Danceworks), and has had a rich career as a contemporary dancer both with Australian Dance Theatre and Leigh Warren and Dancers. We are all in our fifties or above and all still strongly engaged with our dancing bodies.
I was thinking about bodies and sustainability.
Inspired by the text “The Secret Network of nature” by author/forester Peter Wohlleben, this project considers patterns of growth over cycles of seasons—the moving body, an ongoing physical practice, as metaphor for environmental change and the three-dimensionality of ecosystems. The title “Communal Bloom Strategy” refers to the ability of trees to respond to threats in their environment collectively by communicating via electrical impulses through their connected root and fungal systems. They are able to do this over long distances, hundreds of kilometres. For this project, the dance artists come together over the long distance of time to consider the questions of how we continue to move in the face of physical shifts, the migrations we’ve made, how we listen to our interior and where we settle in relation to locations, conditions, patterns. With this film I hoped we might pose questions for the viewer about how the animate and inanimate worlds can meet through sensation and reciprocity, a recapturing of instinct and collective imagination.
In a very short time frame (2 and a half days including learning material, shooting in 2 locations and a studio) we were able to drop into some very real places of connection with one another in contemplation of sustainability for our bodies and the environment.
We are reaching out across time—across 35 years—through kinaesthetic signals, fascial connections, muscle memory.
We are the 4 horizons of soil—organic, mineral, fine clay, weathered bedrock.
Dancing is our bridge between each other, between our bodies and the world. What sustains us is this mutual generosity.
Dance.Focus goes live on 17 August 2020 https://www.dancehubsa.com.au/dance-focus/