Dancehouse stands on what always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We pay our respects to the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, to their Elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

Dark Night

'Dark Night' (2019), Jill Orr. Photo by Gregory Lorenzutti for Dancehouse
21—23 March 2019

Abbotsford Convent
Magdalen Laundries (1 Saint Heliers St. Abbotsford)

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Emerging from an installation conceived for the inaugural Venice Performance Art Week as a response to the terrible fate of asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australian shores, Dark Night explores the crumbling humanitarian ideals of a world in crisis. In this embodied installation, embracing the dramatics of scale, volume, tone, rhythm and movement, a series of images are performed. Activated by the body in performance in the Magdalen Laundries at the Abbotsford Convent, a precinct with its own history of struggle, Dark Night plunges audiences into the brute realities of a nation falling into ethical disrepair. Performative images weave subtly through this work, evoking the strength, fearlessness, fragility and insecurity of humanity.

Director and Performer: Jill Orr
Sound Design: Steve Bell
Costume Design: Alison Kelly
Set Design: Jill Orr, Nick Aguis, Aaron Poupard (ARM architecture)
Set Construction: George Douralis (Gamma Doura Australia)

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Jill Orrs work centres on issues of the psycho-social and the environment — drawing on land and identity as they are shaped in, on and with the environment, be it rural or urban locales. Orr grapples with the balance and discord that exists at the heart of relations between the human spirit, art and nature. Orr was represented in the inaugural Venice International Performance Art Week in 2012 where she presented The Promised Land. Jill is a recent recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship that enabled the production of Antipodean Epic, presented for the Mildura Palimpsest Biennale #10, followed by The Antipodean Epic – The Quarry for the Lorne Sculpture Bienniale; the Belo Horizonte Biennale, Brazil; and Inextremis, Arthouse, Melbourne. In 2018, her performance installation Detritus Springs was commissioned by the Biennale of Australian Art, followed by Listening, commissioned and shown at the Unconformity Festival Queenstown Tasmania.

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