Adam Linder “Some Proximity”

I saw Adam Linder perform this work today at the MCA (a fantastic contribution to the 20th biennale of Sydney). You may be thinking, isn’t the MCA a gallery space? Yes. It is. And usually a site for visual art. As such, it shows dance through a different avenue and confuses the dancer and spectator relationship. For one, there is more freedom on the spectators’ viewing decisions which adds an element of spontaneity, as well as the fact that the audience is within close proximity to the dancers, inevitably influencing the work. I’ll admit that I had a few laughs watching those who were completely ignorant to the fact that a performance was taking place, or trying to be respectful as they walked through the dancers to hurry to the toilet. Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.06.11 am

Linder’s practice is advertised as a ‘service’ and he is hired by art galleries to perform within a selected space inside the gallery for a specified amount of time. In Some Proximity, Linder and dancer Justin Kennedy would take turns to perform perambulatory movement that fluidly glides across the space while coordinating complex body isolations and locks. Kind of like a futuristic pedestrian walk. What I found so captivating about this work was the collaboration with Melbourne based writer Holly Childs, who wrote quirky observations about life in real time, as though she were writing her stream of consciousness. Linder and Kennedy would occasionally moon walk up to a wall and either read, scan read, sing, or repeat selected parts of her writing while dancing. I vaguely remember one of the scores that Kennedy read out loud “girl with go pro, arms folded, filming, always filming, like lazy. ready to post it to the world tonight.” Something like that, I’m paraphrasing. It is interesting how the text influences the dancers movement, both rhythmically and visually. One of my favourite moments of the work happened to take place while I was awkwardly sitting on the floor in the corner. Kennedy gracefully hip-hop’d his way over to the wall I was situated at and continued to dance and read the text on the wall in a panning action. The extreme close up I had of this movement was like no other performance you can witness in a theatre. He read out “If that’s a corner, that’s one hell of a corner” while zooming in and out of my corner and spinning away. This comfort to perform so close to a viewer can make it quite uncomfortable for the viewer, however I found it amusing and entertaining, and I would love to encourage dancers to continue putting the audience out of their comfort zones.

Prior to seeing this performance, I had a workshop with Adam Linder at the University of New South Wales, hosted by Dr Erin Brannigan. In this workshop he spoke about his early career and how he traveled over Europe and performed an earlier work called Some Cleaning as well as this most current work. He explained that within it there are 7 modalities; Some distance, same proximity, rhythm proximity, more proximity, very proximity, pan proximity and sample proximity. I really enjoyed deciphering and piecing these modalities as he performed them. Linder sang out the instruction to perform one of the modalities at the exchange of either Linder’s or Kennedy’s movement. The following actions affirmed the instruction and made the work a cohesive transaction of movement which added to my enjoyment of the work. I would highly recommend this piece as I could easily spend more than my 3 hours I spent today there. Linder is performing this work once more tomorrow (Monday) 10.30-1, 2.30-5.  Go! See! Do!

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a rationale: first post

I’ll begin this entry with a humble hello and a short explanation as to why I am starting a blog, despite the obvious – thesis writing withdrawals. I enjoy writing dance, writing art, or just writing in general, and so this will hopefully expand my experience and passion on it further. But lets cut to the chase – the means of this blog is to channel my interests and thoughts on dance, or it is more for myself to elucidate my own understanding on the choreographies I have seen by local or international artists. I’ll also pre-apologise for some of the excessive ramblings, rants and no doubt endless grammatical errors that are going to occur. I know this is a long overdue pursuit of mine and is poorly timed, as there are many inspiring dance works that I have experienced and passed, escaping my memory. However I do have particular favourites, including Alexander Ekman’s Cacti (2010), William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing Reproduced (2006) and Chunky Move’s I Like This (2008).  A common theme across those works include the clear finesse of the dancers, no matter how minimal the movement performed is, and I am thoroughly intrigued by works that have an underlying concept that stimulate, challenge or entertain our knowledge. While I am attracted to all aesthetics of dance, the contemporary genre appeals to me most. \\

My background is tedious and unexciting in comparison to those who I have studied. So feel free to stop reading here. I started dancing ballet at the age of 4 and progressively became addicted to the provocative rhythms and dynamics that music gave to movement, consequently feeding my obsession of dance. While ballet was my foundation of movement I was continually being the weirdo in the dance studio (let alone at home) and breaking out those abstract, unidentifiable moves. It’s the typical cheesy love story. While practicing dance externally in studios, I also accelerated HSC dance externally, and did my best in finding ways to keep dance in my life. After school I decided to continue studying dance at the University of New South Wales through a fantastic degree in Arts and Education, which has sadly now been discontinued. At the completion of that degree I continued studying Honours in Dance. That was where I was able to fully engulf myself in autonomous choreography and music composition as well as struggle through the necessary academic readings and thesis writing. While it had its perils, it is because of my time studying at UNSW with some incredible mentors, choreographers and students that I am here now, writing this, and so grateful to have experienced it. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to hover around dance like a heartbroken ex grasping at the strings of something that once was \\