Five minutes late to the world premiere of Lucy Guerin’s Make Your Own World and I had to wait to be admitted into the Magic Theatre of the North Melbourne Town Hall.
Together with a handful of latecomers, we waited by the door. Our timing marked us a group. Some of us bristled at being painted tardy: “Locked out!? How rude!” Me, I believe it added to my excitement: what awaited me behind the door? How quickly would my eyes adjust to the transition from foyer’s glare to theatre’s embrace? But above all: what was I missing? We’d come from the 6.45pm session of Paul White and Narelle Benjamin’s Cella at the Meat Market located around the hind leg corners of North Melbourne. We’d not been at Cella together, and yet, now, in our lateness, we had. We’d raced from one venue to the next, and owing to the first performance finishing later than scheduled and the second starting on time, we were a group. How fitting, given that Make Your Own World is “inspired by groups, communities and societies in flux …. through timing and spatial formations.”
ENTRANCE NOT FOR EVERYBODY
I do not know what I missed as I felt my way in the dark. (I do know that I stepped on a few toes of the people sitting in the back row as I clambered to the furthest seat in the theatre. And I know that in arriving late to the larger, seated group, I was on the outer once more. In flux, indeed, this belonging.) Yes, dropping away the realities and constraints of physical time and space, I do not know what I missed, but I was free, after all, to make up the beginning to my Own World. Invitation accepted and impulse taken, I was time-muddled within the pages of Hermann Hesse’s novel Der Steppenwolf in Dance Massive 2019.
Recently landed: Walking on Clouds, Gracia's written response to Chunky Move's Anti-Gravity, Nat Cursio's Tiny Slopes, and Lucy Guerin's Split, three performances presented as part of Dance Massive, for Fjord Review
The Bureau of Meteorology La Trobe St. Weather Station, near to the Carlton Gardens, has always intrigued me. A triangular wedge of fenced-off green on the city’s fringe, it looks like an art installation or a performance space. With a tiny garden shed, and unfamiliar equipment to measure climatic changes and patterns neatly dotted and connected by pathways, it is not so unlike the world Chunky Move’s Anouk van Dijk and Singaporean artist and filmmaker, Ho Tzu Nyen, have set up for their collaborative work, Anti-Gravity.
Presented as part of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts and Dance Massive 2017, the stage is an ordered maze of forms that are familiar but whose role is ambiguous. The business of forecasting sounds and looks poetic, but it is serious stuff. Wind measurements, temperature, humidity, and precipitation are all recorded by tiny, unassuming sculptures that appear in need only of an artists’ statement. Working with clouds has the air of romance, to me, and in literature, dance, and art too, but I suspect that it is the data not the tools and their subjects that must interest those who chart meteorological quantities.
Recently landed: Double-Cross, Gracia's written response for Fjord Review
(Outside in the city, at night, briefly. Opening credits begin. Extended tracking shot. A man marches purposefully into the San Francisco Police Department. I follow the back of his suited form. A disinterested Police Office leaning against a column directs him down a second long corridor. At 1 minute and 40 seconds, the music (evocative of striding) fades. Our Sympathetic Everyman (whom I’ve been tailing with the camera) reaches his destination, 44 Homicide Division, and enters.)
— Can I help you?
— I’d like to see the man in charge.
— He’s in here.
(Shown into an office. Note: the standard fan atop a filing cabinet and a small desk lamp casting strong shadows. Decipher: I am in film noir territory, the land of the gumshoe private investigator who is always two steps ahead of the cops.)
— I want to report a murder.
— Sit down.
(Slumps into chair.)
— Where was this murder committed?
— San Francisco, last night.
— Who was murdered?
— I was.
(Close up. I see our Everyman’s face for the first time. Loose necktie. Five o’clock shadow. Crumpled appearance.)
— Well… do you want to hear me out or don’t you Captain, I don’t have very much time.
— Your name Bigelow, Frank Bigelow?
(Long eye blink.)
— That’s right.*