Australian Dance Theatre – 2007

HELD: Australian Dance Theatre 2007

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Choreography: Garry StewartCostume Designer: David BonneyMusic: Darrin VerhagenFurther Info: Embodying the dynamic tension between the action of Garry Stewart’s ballistic choreography and its ‘fixed’ capture by photographer Lois Greenfield, HELD juxtaposes solidity with liquidity, heaviness with lightness, stillness with flow, clarity with illusion into an extraordinary live performance.

Using electronic strobes to photograph the dramatic explosions and propulsion which are Garry’s signature kamikaze style, Lois will create the illusion of weightlessness by freezing these dynamic moments at 1/2000 of a second, projected instantaneously, revealing to the audience a moment that exists beneath the threshold of perception.

This is the first time the inner process of photography will be ‘dramatised’ in the context of a choreographed dance piece. The performance touches on the materials, methods and optics of photography and its time-altering alchemy. By stopping time a split second becomes an eternity. Ironically, freezing a split second gives the movement more solidity than it had as a fleeting gesture of dance. We know that nothing in the real world can exist in two dimensions, yet photographs seduce us in believing that it is a valid representation of reality. In HELD, image and performance collide on a visually equal playing field.

ADTThese breath-taking images, projected onto a series of large video screens, are interplayed with video art and an encapsulating soundtrack which traverses styles and genres. The video footage that intersperses the moments of choreography and photography seeks to balance the ‘heroic’ and ‘iconic’ still images by giving a more discreet insight into the persona of the dancers.

And always at the centre of the interplay between lens, screen and eye is the dynamic, original choreography of Garry Stewart and the ADT dancers. Using the physical and philosophical structures of photography, such as framing, partition, memory, nostalgia and repetition, the choreography embodies the essence of HELD – photography.