Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dance Massive is Coming....

The Malthouse Theatre launched its 2011 season yesterday. Along with all the great theatre that new artistic director Marion Potts has planned are four dance shows which are all part of the 2011 Dance Massive Festival. Along with Dancehouse, Arts House, and Ausdance, the Malthouse is a producer of Dance Massive
Dance Massive began in 2009 as a festival for Australian contemporary dance and was so successful that the plan is for a bi-annual event. Shows range from small to medium size and the artists presented are all of a very high calibre. 2009 artists included Lucy Guerin Inc, Helen Herbertson, Russell Dumas and Splintergroup as well as younger choreographers like Rogue Collective.  
Based on what's been announced so far at the Malthouse (the full Dance Massive program will be revealed in early December), the 2011 program is going to be pretty exciting - there's new work, recent work and a remount of a significant production. 
Connected. Photo by John Drysdale. 
The new work is a Chunky Move premiere called Connected. It's a collaboration with American kinetic sculptor Reuben Margolin. Margolin is creating a huge sculpture of moving parts that will be attached to the five dancers. Music, lighting, sculpture and dance will be highly connected, with all elements triggering each other. 
Faker. Photo by Heidrun Lour.
In a totally different vein, Gideon Obarzanek, artistic director of Chunky Move will present his solo, Faker - more a personal expose about creating artwork than a dance piece in itself. He presented it in Sydney this year and it looks really interesting. 

In Glass by choregrapher Narelle Benjamin also has a connection to Chunky Move. Benjamin danced with the company in its early days when it first moved to Melbourne in the late 1990s to take up the post as Victoria's flagship contemporary dance company. I still remember her fiesty performance as the knife-weilding go-go dancer in Bonehead. She has worked with just about every major company in Australia as well as having success as a dance film maker. For In Glass, her first full length production, she's collaborating with award-winnning dancers Kristina Chan and Paul White. Both are phenomenoal performers, having worked extensively with Tanya Leidtke and Australian Dance Theatre, among many others. 

Amplification. Photo by Jeff Busby.
Finally - and another connection to the late 1990s -  is a remount of Phillip Adams' Amplification. I should admit here that I have a special connection to Amplification - I wrote about it in my MA back in 2000. It was not only Adams' first major work after moving back to Melbourne after a decade in New York, it was also the inaugural work for his company BalletLab, that now, over a decade on, has an extensive and extremely diverse repertoire.  
Even though Adams' dance making practice has moved in all sorts of directions since Amplification,  the work is a great example of Adams' ideas about the relationship of ballet to contemporary performance, his interest in distorting/reinventing ballet technique and his ability to zealously research a dark topic and re-fashion it into something utterly unique. 
Check out for more details about these shows or become an e-subscriber to Dance Massive on and get all the latest updates and articles about the festival. 
Dance Massive runs 15 - 27 March 2011. 

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