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Absence(s) crossed the boundaries of dance, installation art and promenade theatre. This haunting work carried all the metaphorical freight of ‘moving’, and aimed with precision to inculcate and experiential audience reaction. It did so by riskily locating the centre of the work in an absence, in things unsaid and unspecified. Adorno insisted that “intelligence is a moral category”. In that sense, it was the sheer intelligence of Absence(s) that triumphed over potentially ennervating material, over the aching sadness of things.
Douglas Leonard - RealTime

disappearances | abduction | loss
a work that looks at what we have left behind and how we have left it

vanessa with light globe


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This work was externally situated in an undisclosed venue to confront exterior and interior anxieties; choreographer and installation artist clare dyson's latest production powerfully explores issues of disappearances and abduction. audience were transported to forgotten sites to witness the first stage of this powerful performance.

the work immersed the audience in the concept: at first they were separated from whomever they came with, then they were asked to take off their shoes and surrender their personal belongings. then they moved into small rooms where the walls were made of plastic - they could hear and vaguely see others but were the others performers, ghosts or their fellow audience members?

the audience were forced to walk on hundreds of clothes and witness the remains of absent lives - 3000 photographs of missing people, a room full of hundreds of shoes, a wall with the memories of a life written backwards. suspended throughout the space were light globes making it both a familiar and distant experience.

below is a ten minute excerpt from this work

absence(s) from on Vimeo.


missing person


performance team

performers & creators
avril huddy
brian lucas
vanessa mafe
tammy meeuwissen

clare dyson
lighting design & production management
mark dyson
bruce mckinven
brett collery

fiona cullen

premiered in 2007
at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and then
audience transported to disused buildings in brisbane, australia

this work is 60 minutes with no interval
audience are moved throughout multiple spaces which eventually open up to one single space

this work travels with 8 company members and is currently looking for a new co-producing venue or festival

please contact the company for more details

this work was supported by Arts Qld througha major performance grant and made in partnership with the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts