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Dance (Lens) — Being Seen: Screendance Portraits

Siobhan Murphy

'Kenta Kojiri' (2018), Sue Healey. Photo by Pippa Samaya.
29 July — 29 August

Members: $30
Concession/Unwaged: $35
Full Price: $40

One ticket buys you the entire Dance (Lens) Festival program to watch and re-watch On Demand for 30 days. 

LIVE SCREENING: Friday 19 November 8:00pm

If you purchased a Dance (Lens) Festival ticket to the series On Demand, your ticket will allow you automatic entry to the weekend of live screenings. All other bookings are pay as you feel. Bookings are required.

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Live screenings of the Dance (Lens) program will be held from 19–21 November.

Curated by Siobhan Murphy, Being Seen: Screendance Portraits gathers together a range of screendance works from the past three decades that engage with portraiture. Groups become a situation for negotiating how selves emerge through their relationship to others. Solo dancers find themselves immersed in environments, water, metal and wood, that craft their movements and self-representations. In a black box studio, a succession of diverse dancers perform spare gestural solos. In a white void, a dancer duets with a mattress. At the heart of these works is an acknowledgement of the ambiguous authorship at work in dance portraiture, and an abiding interest in how people are rendered in movement. 

52 Portraits (2016)— Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion and Hugo Glendinning

52 Portraits (2016) was a year-long online project, releasing a gestural portrait by a different dance artist each week and with songs drawn from verbatim interviews. The invited artists came from different backgrounds and methodologies, but had all in some way collaborated before with one or other of the curators.

This selection from 52 Portraits was created for the Light Moves Festival of Screendance, Limerick, 2016.

Curators and Directors: Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion and Hugo Glendinning
Cinematographer: Hugo Glendinning
Dancers: Flora Wellesley Wesley, Robert Cohan, Vicki Igbokwe, Botis Seva, Claire Cunningham, Wendy Houstoun, Alexandrina and David Hemsley, Theo Clinkard, Mette Edvardsen, Crystal Pite, Seke Chimutengwende and John Scott
Singers: Matteo and Francesca Fargion
Producers: Lucy Clarke-Bishop for Sadler’s Wells Theatre London

Mothers and Daughters (1994) and Veterans (2008) — Victoria Marks and Margaret Williams

Mothers and Daughters is the second collaboration between choreographer Victoria Marks and director Margaret Williams, their first being the award-winning Outside In with able-bodied and disabled dance company Candoco. Marks and Williams worked with ten pairs of real mothers and daughters, many of whom had never performed before. The film looks at the micro and the macro, the unique and the universal.

Director: Margaret Williams
Choreographer: Victoria Marks
Performers: Anna Pons Carrera, Marta Carrera, Jeannette & Carley Adams, Janice & Kate Ashby, Annette & Sasha, Caroline & Ruby Burghard, Margaret & Sue Fuller, Irene & Ursula Hegglin, Carolyn & Charlotte Naish, Bhawani & Bino Nanthabalan, and Iris & Louise Tomlinson
Music: Jocelyn Pook
Producer: Anne Beresford

MJW Production for Channel Four Television 1994 

The film Veterans tracks five US Vets recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as they make their way through the streets of Los Angeles. Locked in solitary battles of isolation, dislocation and memory, these Vets converge in a quiet alley and find themselves joining in a ritual re-enactment of combat before returning to their separate lives.

Directors: Victoria Marks and Margaret Williams with the performers
Performers: Lance Corporal Manuel Flores, Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron McCollum, Senior Airman John Tingley, Senior Airman Cidkyee Williams, and Lance Corporal Felton Lee Williams
Producers: Ellen Bromberg and Cari Ann Shim Sham
Choreographer: Victoria Marks
Photographer and Editor: Margaret Williams

An EMPAC DANCE MOViES Commission 2007

Alice with black mattress, Riddells Creek, May 2019 — Siobhan Murphy (2021)

Alice with black mattress, Riddells Creek, May 2019 is a portrait of dancer Alice Cummins. Alice folds, sculpts, embraces and is at times engulfed by a black mattress that duets with her in a succession of shifting images, depicting a life lived in movement. 

Performance: Alice Cummins
Choreography: Alice Cummins and Siobhan Murphy
Director: Siobhan Murphy
Editing: Dominic Redfern and Siobhan Murphy
Sound: Dominic Redfern and Siobhan Murphy
Camera: Dominic Redfern and James Wright
Assistant Camera: Shang-alien Yang
Lighting: Shang-alien Yang

On View: Japan (2018) — Sue Healey

Portraits of Kenta Kojiri, Nobuyoshi Asai and Ema Yuasa.

On View is a dance portraiture project that pursues the relationship between dance and spectatorship through video. The three portraits seen in Dance (Lens) 2021, Kenta Kojiri, Nobuyoshi Asai and Ema Yuasa, were filmed in Japan in 2018 and produced by Aichi Prefectural Art Theater. In these short films, each artist interacts with a location framed by one of the five Chinese elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These films are part of a series of 27 portraits of artists from Hong Kong, Japan and Australia created by Sue Healey and made into short films, video installation and live performance.

Filmmaker & Choreographer: Sue Healey
Director of Photographer: Judd Overton
Cinematographer: Kei Fushiki
Composer: Darrin Verhagen and Justin Ashworth
Foley: Matthew Tankard
Dramaturg: Shona Erskine
Dance Artists: Ema Yuasa, Kenta Kojiri, Nobuyoshi Asai
Producer: Eri Karatsu
Camera Operator: Atsushi Kunieda
Assistant Camera Operator: Shuya Kume
Lighting Designer: Takahide Sakai
Assistant Lighting Designer: Keitaro Takahashi
Assistant Cinematographer: Michio Fukui, Masami Ito
Technical Coordinator: Yoshinori Sekoguchi
Stylist: Kazuki Sugai
Interpreter: Yasuko Kurono
Coordinator: Yoko Nishiyama
Assistant Producer: Ai Kato, Yoko Koike
Stills Photography: Naoshi Hatori (Japan), Pippa Samaya (Australia)
Choreographic Assistant: Tara Samaya
Costume Cooperation: matohu (Hiroyuki Horahita, Makiko Sekiguchi), Somarta, H Art Chaos, Kie Yamamoto
Location Cooperation: KAWABUN, Koya Bridge, Nagoya City Archives, Rinnai Corporation, Shirotori Garden

(Focus) — Being Seen: Screendance Portraits

Being Seen: Screendance Portraits comprises three warm, candid and wide-ranging interviews with the creative teams behind the screendance works in this stream. Curator Siobhan Murphy speaks with choreographer Jonathan Burrows and filmmaker Hugo Glendinning about the motivations, aesthetics and social situatedness of 52 Portraits. Choreographer and filmmaker Sue Healey discusses her passion for showing the artistry of dancers and how portraits allow dancers to engage with how they’re seen. Choreographer Victoria Marks and filmmaker Margaret Williams reflect on more than two decades of collaborations in group situations involving eating, talking, filming and moving together.


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Siobhan Murphy is a choreographer and academic based in Naarm, Melbourne. Her practice focuses on screendance works for single channel and gallery installation outcomes, with works screened in festivals and museums in cities throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as London, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Lisbon and Edinburgh. Her recent scholarly and artistic research centres on dance portraiture, with her portrait of Joanne White at the London International Screendance Festival in 2019, and her forthcoming portrait of Alice Cummins at Dance (Lens) in 2021. Her article on screendance portraiture examines the productive counterpoints of the portraiture tradition and builds toward an emergent framework for understanding how screendance portraits function. Siobhan is a Lecturer in Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where she teaches and supervises in dance studies, screendance and artistic research.

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