Double Exposure - Choreographic Program 2014

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Frog Hollow Centre for the Arts, Darwin

The Choreographic Program works towards the ongoing health and vibrancy of the community, fostering more articulate artists and for a greater understanding by the wider community of Northern Territory culture. The program melds Tracks’ skills and expertise with the skills and aspirations of Northern Territory youth and seniors, resulting in a mutually respectful engagement and exchange of dance practice, ideas and knowledge.

In it's fifth year, Tracks Choreographic Development Program provides workshops and leadership opportunities for up-and-coming choreographers to develop skills in dance making. In 2014 we offered seven artists the chance to participate these individuals were selected by audition and by invitation with a positive bias towards diversity of culture and practice, ranging in age from 17 - 67 years.

The Choreographic Program is led by Tracks’ Dance Animateur Jess Devereux, a VCA Dance graduate. Jess is passionate about choreographic practice and draws on a wealth of dance experience in both community and professional contexts in Australia and abroad. Jess works to generate and inspire lively dance exploration, discussion and artistic discipline in the bi-weekly, multi art form workshops at Tracks. Jess ran the pilot Youth Choreographic Program in 2009, and has led the subsequent programs 2010 - 14.

Directors Notes

“Hello and a warm welcome to our fifth instalment of the Choreographic Development Program. Our showing today, DOUBLE EXPOSURE is the culmination of 14 weeks of workshops and creative play in the studio in 2014. We proudly present an afternoon brimming with new dance works, films and experiments, exposing the process and artistry of seven wonderful individuals: movement explorations, improvisations and fascinations in composing dance / movement to challenge, provoke and inspire an audience.

In photography, to achieve double exposure, the camera shutter is opened more than once to expose the film multiple times, usually to different images. I love this as a concept that might encapsulate the choreographic process. We as dance artists, open ourselves up, over and over, to the multitude of images and inspirations available to us, and then expose ourselves in the act of performing, by being observed, expressing layers of meaning through our physicality. I’m forever intrigued by the creative juncture between dance and cameras.

As the leader of the Choreographic Development Program, I feel excited (and yet reluctant!) to present this showing, as it always marks the beginning and the end of a process. The workshops this year have been a particularly joyous experience, a rich time of investigation into dance, movement tasking, music, writing and building ideas. The raw and bold expression shared every Monday and Thursday evening from the participants has inspired me immensely. Thank you Darryl, Venaska, Chandrika, Maddy, Tahnee, Jon and Bryn for committing yourselves so wholeheartedly: your trust, passion and energy into this program has been so evident. Thanks for sharing space, supporting each other, listening, questioning, moving, and being magical, for trying out your ideas and for all the laughs… particularly for the absurd stories we wrote together!

The 2014 Choreographic Program ran differently to past years. I departed for 5 weeks mid program to work as Gary Lang’s dramaturg. During this period, dance artist Kelly Beneforti came on board to facilitate rehearsals and studio time. Thanks so much Kelly, for your warmth, inclusiveness and vitality, and for keeping everything moving.

Welcome to Caleb Patrick, who has joined us this week all the way from Lajamanu, to participate.

Lastly, thank you to you, our audience, for coming to support the work. I am so proud and excited to share the process with you, and to continue the dialogue around dance making, which is my absolute passion and lifelong fascination.” 

Jess Devereux - Tracks’ Dance Animateur

Creative Personnel

Program Director: Jess Devereux

Choreographers: Maddy Brown, Darryl Butler, Venaska Cheliah, Jon Clarke, Tahnee Cvirn, Chandrika Munasinghe and Bryn Wackett

Maddy began dancing 4 years ago, although it has always been a passion of mine from a young age. When watching other dancers, it made me eager to get up and dance with them. At that stage I didn’t have the confidence to perform to an audience, but as I danced more often, I began to understand how much it actually meant to me. The genre of Hip Hop has always fascinated me with the energy that it creates in a crowd. That’s why I began with this style. Dancing has always been a way to let out my energy and emotion, and to make not only myself, but others who watch it happy. I study contemporary dance at Darwin High and am involved in Tracks Pop Up Dance Mob. Last year I also performed in Tracks Zombies in the Banyan Tree.

Darryl began dancing at age 65. He has performed with Tracks Dance in Eight to Eighty (2012), Future Age (2013) and Zombies in the Banyan Tree (2013.) Darryl leads a fitness group in Batchelor and uses dance to inform this work. Darryl dances for health, enjoys performing and advocating for the over 60s.

Venaska has been learning Indian Classical Dance (Bharatanatyam) for the past 14 years. Over the years of learning, Venaska developed an interest in Indian Contemporary as she felt that it would allow the general public in Australia to understand her dance form, while still keeping her tradition. Through her work with the Tracks Dance Company, Venaska has been able to step out of her comfort zone and dabble in other styles of dance, most notably, contemporary under the guidance of Jess Devereux and Gary Lang. Venaska is using the choreographic program as an opportunity to find her unique style as a western contemporary dancer.

Jon is a performing artist with a background in circus and theatre. He specializes in roué cyr and adagio, using movement and dance to create presentations with a technical skill aspect. Years dancing Salon Tango drive an interest in exploring the nature of connection and interaction between people, through spontaneity and play

Tahnee has been dancing since the age of 5, starting with classical ballet classes. “Ever since I started dancing my passion has grown, as I find new styles of dance and ways I can interpret movement. I'm currently a student at Darwin High, working with dance through my school subjects. I love working with a variety of teachers to help broaden my awareness of what dance brings to my self as a person. I wish to continue my love for dance when I finish school and hopefully move on to large productions around the world.”

Chandrika has been dancing since she was six years old. “most of my dance performances were traditional for a long time. Since coming to Darwin in 1989, I began choreographing dance items in a contemporary style away from traditional. I then started to teach adults and young children from many different cultural backgrounds. My work has been displayed at Sri Lankan community events and multicultural events in Darwin. I have been involved with Tracks Dance on several projects. Tracks projects have made a huge difference to my dance experience and it has been fascinating and challenging.

Bryn gets involved in all sorts of things amongst the community up here in Darwin... Dancing, gardening, teaching, contributing to the organisation of local festivals and events alongside bringing up a couple of energetic 9 year old twin boys... Early morning swims have become her favourite thing on awakening each morning and she has a crazy longing for a bit of camping time very soon... Bryn is particularly excited about Daisy Taylor and the Grey Panthers being on board sharing afternoon tea with us all this year. She loves what the Tracks Choreographic Program offers to dancers up here in the Territory and finds outdoor performances especially enjoyable.

Scenario

Premiere of a new dance film by Zoe Scoglio, created at the Territory Wildlife Park in collaboration with Jess Devereux and the 2014 Tracks Choreographic Program participants, screening in the conference room cinema.

Unfamiliar, a rué cyr improvisation by Jon Clarke
Jon has practiced Roue Cyr for the last 18 months. Due to the highly technical nature of the apparatus the majority of his choreography has been around highly rehearsed “trick-based” movement. In this piece Jon will navigate unfamiliar improvised pathways, movements and relationships with the apparatus.
Music: Live accompaniment

Dancing In The Water by Chandrika Munasinghe (Performed by Maddy,Venaska,Tahnee)
It’s to do with wilderness. In a small village, the beautiful young women gathered near the water stream. Playing & dancing away in the water. Prompted by the writing task out in Frog’s Hollow.
Music: Jala Dharwe by Uresha Ravihari (from the film Kusa Paba), Megamkarukuthu by Harini (from film Kushi)

Hungry Jacks Zealot by Jon Clarke (Performed by Darryl Butler and Jon Clarke)
“A big challenge for me has been devising choreography without the basis of a dance style that enables multi-level movement. The alphabet cube is a concept that has provided enough structure to explore concepts in all planes of three-dimensional space, without the support of an established dance style. This piece explores the relationship between two bodies navigating the same cube.”
Music: The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man On Earth

Revolver by Maddy Brown (Performed by Maddy Brown and Tahnee Cvirn)
Playing and experimenting with how many ways one movement or choreographic phrase can be fleshed out, and how it can unfold to be composed into a duet.
Music: Faded by ZHU

Object Duo workshop task (Performed by Chandrika and Venaska)

Spoken by Tahnee Cvirn (Performed by Tahnee, Maddy and Bryn)
Spoken has been created as a response to the mixture of choreographic processes we worked with throughout the Tracks program. I've focused on developing my choreographic skills through the use of several different elements (spatial, dynamic shifts, accumulation etc.) and mashing them together. The dance piece is a reflection of all I have learnt in this program, to show my capability to dance and speak to an audience.
Music: Aurora by Cashmere Cat

Release by Venaska Cheliah (Solo performed by Venaska, supported by whole group)
This piece is about a particular moment in my life, a journey that has taken so many twists and turns… the build up of sensations. It expresses the moment of acceptance, the moment I realised that I wasn’t the only one, and the ability to release the dam of emotions and feelings through movement.
Music: Secrets by One Republic

Jigsaw created and performed by Maddy Brown
In my solo piece, I have experimented with the fusion of contemporary and hip-hop styles, and how they complement each other and provide contrast.
Music: XO by Beyoncé

Meeting Place *created and performed by Kelly Beneforti and Caleb Japanangka Patrick.
In the different environments of Darwin and Lajamanu, we have tried to meet each other honestly even when the boundaries of language, communication and experience are shifting and developing between us. Through dancing and just hanging out together we have begun to learn to trust each other, with the Milpirri project as a shared source of inspiration and guidance that we can draw on.
Music: The Changes- Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro, Aurevoir Mon Visage- Dirty Beaches, Linguistics (Instrumental)- Jurassic 5

* In 2013, Kelly Beneforti and Caleb Patrick where successful in gaining an Early Career Residency grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to undertake a residency at Tracks in order to explore the boundaries between Warlpiri and western-based dance practice. This work comes from that residency. http://www.tracksdance.com.au/early-career-residency-kelly-and-caleb

Entropy by Darryl Butler (Duo performed by Darryl and Jon. Chorus, whole group)
In this piece, the possibilities for two dancers increase as they unfold into the group.
Music: Elegy for Rita - Composed and performed by Doug DeVries, recorded on ABC Classics disc 476283-9

Movers and Shakers by Venaska Cheliah (Performed by Bryn and Venaska)
It’s fascinating to see how quickly relationships form between people! This piece is dedicated to my fellow choreologists, with whom I have been on this incredible journey on and depicts certain quirks about them and their dance styles. Inspired by Jess’ “human behaviour choreographic task.”
Music: Zi-Zi’s Journey by Lindsey Stirling

Free Flow Writings... Or Meanderings by Bryn Wackett (Performed by whole group)
“Jess has us 'free-flow writing' each week, sometimes with a specific topic, sometimes completely free flowing.  I don't often write, and thought it might be fun to use some of these 'pen to paper meanderings' as short scores for movement.  The original thought was that these scores would be used to inspire short choreographed pieces, but the improvisations themselves turned out so much fun that I have chosen to leave them as is for now.”
Music: Spoken word

Q & A panel discussion with the artists, audience facilitated by Liz Trevaskis and Jenelle Saunders

Thank you

Stephanie Cvirn, Suzi Cordell, Thevi Cheliah, Ciella Williams, Correctional Services, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Wormald, Gavin Perry, Stuart Smith, Barbara and Ann Pitman, Lisa Svara, Michael Halcrow, Knock About Chefs, the Grey Panthers, Liz Trevaskis, Jenelle Saunders, Visalini Vinu (ASM) and Belinda Quinlivian.

Jess Devereux is a 2014 Artist in residence at the Territory Wildlife Park. Thanks to Meagan and Jasmine at TWP for hosting Tracks Choreographic Program participants for our dance film shoot in the Aviary and Aquarium.

Sponsors

Darwin International Airport, Dreamedia, Southern Cross TV

Funding Bodies

Tracks Inc is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.

Tracks 2014

Artistic Co Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
General Manager: Susan Congreve
Administrator: Clancy Breasley
Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Dance Animateur: Jess Devereux
Bookkeeper: Heather Van Anholt

Committee Members: (Chair/Public Officer) Michael Grant, (Vice-Chair) David Taylor, (Treasurer) Glenn Bernardin, (Ordinary Committee Members) Ken Conway, Stephanie Cvirn, Kate Hudspith, Mary Durack, (Ex-Officio Members) David McMicken and Tim Newth

Public Fund Trustees: Rev. Steve Orme, Dr Anita Toth, Ippei Okazaki

Patron: Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AC, Administrator of the Northern Territory

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Videos 

Audience Responses

"Congrats for Saturday choreo lab showing – luv’d it. It was inspiring to see the development in people and to absorb this craft without having to grade it – like in school. Beautiful direction and exploration by you Jess was evident in their confidence and skills and in the diversity of work presented. " Sarah Calver

Participants Responses

“I am more able to create considered original work through my role at Corro (Corrugated Iron Youth Arts), using movement as the foundation. Watching Jess build trust within a group and challenging participants has improved my capacity as a facilitator.
Confidence in creative process, increased vocabulary in movement, a strong network with other dancers and choreographers, paid work as a choreographer.” 
Jon Clarke

“It has improved my dancing, deepened my creative aspirations and built my confidence and the ability to discover things within myself and express these through performance and the encouragement and collaboration of others.
… it provides opportunities for people from different backgrounds to work together and find a mix, fusion, union, juxtaposition of ideas and actions to form new ideas and backgrounds. Which is possibly a way to describe NT social realities, or at least I am attracted to those who hope so or who have found so in the past.”
Darryl Butler

“I learnt how different things can be interpreted by different people, I gained the experience of working with he different artists ... it has taught me different ways in which dance can be created, it has expanded my knowledge and understanding and I have an advanced vocabulary of movement now.” Maddy Brown

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