Tuesday, 9 September 2008

day 164

after lots of art today, two pageantry choreographers (think marching band / dance team), took me to the gorgeous columbia river gorge. my american dreams came true when a stretch-hummer (above) arrived and spewed out a gaggle of 70+ year olds with champagne, attitude and walking sticks to see the view.

after the nature, we had cocktails at a strange gay 'cheers' bar (where the waitors wore towels and nothing else) to numb the memory of the portuguese dance where the solo performer 'inhabited' a paper bag for 30 minutes. the festival is super fun...

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Monday, 8 September 2008

day 163

tricycle on the corner of martin luther king and freemont...

today was a jérôme bel day: firstly an artist talk and then a performance - his duet work 'Pichet Klunchun and Myself'.

so much to say - I was in paris for five months and I had to come to portland to hear and see this french choreographer reveal himself. stunning work. stunning words. it was quite liberating and I'll come back tomorrow to talk more.

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Friday, 29 August 2008

day 153

tonight we went to the left bank to drink some wine and experience the amazing array of music and dance that was on offer. there are a series of little amphitheatres that house different music (sometimes live) and different dancing: from tango, to swing, to a latin hip swirl that I am deeply envious of.

here is a little of the envious dance that I must find out the name of...

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Friday, 15 August 2008

day 139

catherine bailey (an australian painter) dancing outside my window...

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Sunday, 10 August 2008

day 134

there was dancing and headphones and binoculars.
I've put a longer description in the comments section...

it was a duet with arun, an australian choreographer now living in madrid...

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Saturday, 9 August 2008

day 133

we will be dancing...

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Thursday, 24 July 2008

day 117 - london

simon ellissimon ellis (a new zealand choreographer working in london) has been commissioned for the place prize. he is creating a gorgeous solo about a conversation with an icon of australian dance, which has become a duet with a predecessor, an influence and a ghost. after watching rehearsal I saw him off at the tube station (click to see more)...

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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

day 88

watching the tango in the building next door...

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Friday, 20 June 2008

day 83

micadanse party dancing into the early hours at the annual micadanse party in our courtyard...

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Friday, 13 June 2008

day 76

prue prue (from australia) showing a draft of her new work at the CND studios. she is looking at the amount of energy performing can produce and the amount of energy needed to produce a performance...

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

day 74

waiting for pina 6am at theatre de la ville waiting for pina bausch tickets...

waiting for pinawe waited 5 hours for a ticket, which seemed normal for my fellow parisian dance lovers: pina has the status of a rock idol here. isn't that a lovely thought? I was so elated after getting a ticket that it dispelled my usual cynicism and I metaphorically stag-jumped the whole way home...

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Sunday, 8 June 2008

day 71

neur tanz we came home from the country to see a german dance work, "das chrom und du" by düsseldorf collective neuer tanz: they unpacked hundreds of books, sang, moved, played the trumpet, walked, changed the records, took their tops off, put them back on and then packed the books back up again.
I liked it, then hated it, then liked it again... and it made me reflect on how harsh we are on our own dance - which is very often clever and well made. why are we more likely to love something average from europe than something really distinctive from home?

neur tanz



Friday, 23 May 2008

day 55

arch de la defence
back to arche de la défense again tonight to see the jérôme bel work the show must go on.
fred was performing in it and it's just a fantastic work.

this indoor vertical garden was captured en route home. this place never ceases to amuse me. I tried to capture the essence that is la défense, but my camera hasn't quite got the power to document that much ugliness. perhaps it has to be experienced to be believed...

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

day 52

gordon in the metro
walking through chatelet metro after seeing a sasha waltz work at theatre de la ville.

we saw the 1993 work travelogue 1, and although it's an old work, I thought it would be amazing: like watching an early pina bausch or DV8 work - they can still shatter you. but this didn't.
none of us ever think our works will date, but the impact of fashion is insidious. so it was interesting to see a well known company with a work that, although obviously amazing at the time, was clearly of its time, which was now, just a bit ordinary.

one of the characters in american beauty says that there is nothing worse than being ordinary. but dance is hard - we expect it to be of the moment, but also want it to be timeless: yet another dance dichotomy...

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Monday, 19 May 2008

day 51

atelier de paris
martine taking a shot of the daily shot.

tonight we went to la cartoucherie, an old munitions factory on the outskirts of paris which has been transformed into a series of performance spaces. ros crisp, andrew morrish & friends were performing in caroline carlson's atelier and every australian interested in dance and his dog, was there for the fun...

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Saturday, 17 May 2008

day 49

the farm
the french ministry of culture has a ‘small’ program dedicated to amateur dance. groups can apply for funds from a pool of 150 000€ to re-mount works by established professional choreographers to encourage a more sophisticated understanding of dance at a grass roots level.
this old farm, converted to the theatre la ferme du buisson (again in the suburbs), hosted this years’ presentation of the works, which were quite inspiring: works I’ve never seen live, performed by people without much training but completely in love with the piece. even the rain was lovely.

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Friday, 16 May 2008

day 48

I went to the suburbs to see dance, got lost, got caught in a thunderstorm and then came home defeated. but on endless public transport I had time to ponder the dance I've seen and wondered if we dance-artists are sometimes a danger to ourselves...

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Saturday, 10 May 2008

day 42

we went to the opera today to see two mats ek works. the first one was made in 1978 and had tears, female betrayal, sexual repression and ultimately death. the second was made in 1997 when the world was a very different place: it had equality, dislocation, desperation, but possiblilities.

I remember meeting a woman on a plane once and telling her the story of Giselle - sex; betrayal; death; forgiveness; words that sum up what were then, common thematics. the thing about dance, is that because we always need to be ‘of the moment’, we are also victims of fashion, and becuase of that, our works can, on some level, also map fashion. or taste. or generalised beliefs.

showing two works made twenty years apart was really interesting. gordon liked the first one, and I liked the second. but we both loved the little booth and the breathtaking ornamentation. paris opera has to be experienced at least once in your lifetime…

I'll try to come back and describe these works in the comments section later.

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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

day 39

love on île Saint-Louis
these hearts are all over l'île saint-louis - this one is on a pedestrian crossing.

as you know, I’m wandering around paris with a dodgy little digital camera taking a shot each day and sending them to you. but after nearly 40 days of receiving images, what does it mean to you?

do you, (like mum & dad) get up each morning and chat over coffee about the image? do you forget to log on and then get ten images in your inbox? or glance only at the image and imagine where it could be?

and, what does it mean to know that there is a small community of people, many of whom know each other, all of whom know me, who are all getting the same image, every day, at the same time?
do you wait for their comments? wondering who will see what, and whether they will leave a trace on the page, changing how you see that image for the day?
and seeing their comments, do you want to know who your fellow image-seekers are? or is it enough to know that most are in australia, many in brisbane, some artists and some not, and that all know me somehow - many through dance.

I started this because it was quite dark in my world, and one of the main reasons I became a choreographer was to connect. but darkness sometimes inhibits the desire to connect, which makes things darker. so, as a way out, I thought I’d find a simple way to map my time here and connect with you.

but after nearly 40 days, not only am l connected to you, my paris daily group of 55 people, but this process has also started to connect with the kind of work I am passionate about. and it’s re-engaging me with the reasons I’m here.

many of you have seen my work. many of you know that for me, an audience's experience is central to the process and
vital to the integrity of the work: all the decisions in the studio reflect that desire to connect and engage.
what I’m trying to say is that you have started to make those ideas happen within this photographic forum – your thoughts, your ideas, your opinions – these are, to me, more important and interesting than the image, or the process of taking it.

whether that is simply by the act of regularly opening up an image sent specifically to you, or articulating your thoughts for your co-creators to see, or sending me a link to a relevant article - your implicit role is now central to this project. so, be encouraged to voice your opinions, leave your thoughts, and engage with each other if that is of interest. and if not, know that you are part of a small engaged community and your thoughts are always welcome via email.
this is now a performance work in which you are active makers: a collaborative work with 55 co-creators. and while other audience members drop in to see what we are doing, the
paris daily group are my trans-continental partners in crime.

if you have any thoughts on how that role suits you – I’d love to hear them. x

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

day 24

of all nights not to take my camera! this is, I'm afraid, all you get of the Jan Fabre show I just saw (except the following monologue in the comments section).

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Monday, 21 April 2008

day 23

ballet découpage
today I stumbled across this life-size ballerina in the découpage section of BHV. I thought perhaps this was indicative of where dance stands in french society: in australia, our découpage isles are full of jesus' and puppies.
since I've been here I've not once had to clarify the difference between a choreographer and chiropractor. can a department store reveal such possibilities?

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Monday, 14 April 2008

day 16

hot chocolate
busy day at the office. andrew morrish came to help...

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Saturday, 12 April 2008

day 14

never equalled
french contemporary dance in a department store with mandatory gallery, bar and dj station.
this store is so super-funky that even the über people aren't allowed. it's that fabulous.
100sqm of shiny bright floor space with gorgeous people nonchalantly looking at gorgeous things...

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