2017 Program pt 1

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Doing Dancing

Doing Dancing

Rhiannon Newton

Opening 02.08.18 6-8pm
Artist Talks 24.08.18 6-7pm

Doing Dancing considers dance’s relationship to duration and it’s potential transformation into an archival object. Beginning from a singular written archive, a series live performances are traced by co-present digital archiving system. Gertrude Stein’s written portrait of modern dance icon Isadora Duncan becomes a historical referent, which supports a practice of eternal danced returns. Automatically positioning dance in a western canon, this text acknowledges and provides an active surface from which to resist a sanctioned narrative for dance and expand toward more speculative histories / futures for dancing in.Stein’s original text “Orta or One Dancing” is transformed beyond the solo matriarchal dancing body, so that the dancing subject becomes “he”, “I”, “it”, “this”, “you”, “we” and “they”.

In a two-hour durational performance each translation is read aloud and respectively danced. Each act of dancing is produced by each act of reading, or is imagined as continuation of Isadora’s dancing via Stein’s writing. Each action of dancing and reading also accumulates, in an embodied and a digital sense, those preceding it. Over the course of the exhibition the live event is performed firstly as a durational solo accumulation. Secondly it is performed as a shared collective undertaking. In this group version each action of reading and dancing is performed by a different artist, who each bring with them their own history, practice, or approach to dancing.

Remaining in the exhibition space between each live event is a video and sound archive of the accumulating performances. This archive is programmed in such a way that each layer becomes an equal percentage of the whole. Therefore the image of the moving body begins to fade, ghost-like toward invisibility, whilst the unmoving room and its objects endure permanently in the accumulating document. Similarly in sound the recorded voice approaches obliteration through noise, as the many voices speak together in cacophonies of imperfect unison. In a more gradual and processual way the archive begins to mirror the live event’s ephemerality and the residual dance becomes an increasingly ghosted document of movement’s disappearance.

Wednesday 2nd August 6-8pm
Saturday 12th August 3-5pm, also with Brooke Stamp, Ivey Wawn, Lizzie Thomson, Trish Wood and others.
Saturday 19th August 3-5pm


Rhiannon Newton is a Sydney based artist whose choreographic practice concentrates on the live-ness of dance and processes of repetition, problematising how a dancing spirit meets economies of production and authorship.

Her works have been presented at Brisbane Festival, Dancehouse, Dance Massive Festival, The Lock-Up Gallery, Judson Church (USA), Metro Arts, Nagib On Stage (SL), PACT Centre for Emerging Artists and Strut Dance. She has developed her practice in residencies throughout Australia and abroad with organisations such as Bundanon Trust, The Centre for Interdisciplinary Arts, Critical Path, UNSW Creative Practice Lab, Create NSW, Australia Council, Movement Research (USA), Nagib (SL), Performing Arts Forum (FR) and Tanzhaus Zurich (CH).

Rhiannon has been a part of international forums such as the Australian and Eastern European Choreographic Exchange, Avignon Festival Seminar and the Swiss / Australian Reciprocal Residency. She has worked as a performer with artists such as Rosalind Crisp, Mette Edvardsen, Martin Del Amo, Paea Leach and Brooke Stamp. Rhiannon co-facilitates First Run Sydney, is on the board of ReadyMade Works Studio and teaches at the Australian College of Physical Education.

Earlier Event: July 6
Art, Agency, Action: Sydney
Later Event: September 1
2017 Fundraising Auction