Finalé: Final Postcards
Peter Trotman & Catherine Magill
Messages and tales from the year-that-was.
During 2023, three events called On The Verge were hosted at Dancehouse to offer physically-based performers a sustained opportunity to practise their skills of improvisation.
In Final Postcards, participants from these events perform a collection of improvised vignettes that teeter on the precipice of existence and the unknown.
Performers: Shaun McLeod, Noelle Rees-Hatton, Pauline Sherlock, Lynne Santos, Vanessa Chapple, Catherine Magill and Peter Trotman
Curators: Catherine Magill and Peter Trotman each have over 30 – 40 years’ experience as Improvised Performance artists. Leading practitioners of the form they have taught and performed both nationally and internationally. Both artists work with movement and text and are known for their strong sense of theatre, clever repartee, and diverse movement styles.
Shaun is a dancer, improviser and performance maker. He is interested in the affective situation of dance improvisation and utilises Authentic Movement as the basis of his improvisation practice. He trained at the VCA in contemporary dance and performed with dance companies such as Australian Dance Theatre, Danceworks and One Extra Co. Shaun has an ongoing collaborative relationship with the members of About Now who make site-specific works in response to place www.aboutnow.net. In 2023 Shaun curated and performed in the April iteration of Now Pieces at Dancehouse which featured artists from non-Australian upbringings. He is an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University where he lectured in dance for 25 years.
Pauline is living her second… or third? childhood. She is a performing artist trained and experienced in a variety of styles from singer songwriter, clown, character, Butoh, and the grotesque to jazz, stand-up, musical and improvised comedy. Pauline’s work is eclectic, sometimes combining spoken word, vocalisation, and improvisation. You never know what you will get, from soaring vocals to comedic turns mixed with occasional foul language and smut. Pauline is a very immature person dealing with mature issues… or sometimes just being a cat.
Lynne has been a performance practitioner since 1980. She’s been a member of Kinetic Energy, One Extra Company, TOTO, Born In A Taxi, Teatro del’IRAA, Tony Yap Company and others. She’s participated in projects presented by De Quincey Company, taken part in Precipice, an improvisation festival curated by Peter Trotman and Tony Osborne and MAP Fest, a festival of performance curated by Tony Yap.
Lynne has continued her improvisation practice for over 30 years and studied it in various settings including Butoh and Body Weather. She’s utilised it to generate material for set works for theatre and dance and as a performance mode in its own right. Spontaneous Composition has been an invaluable tool for developing her style of movement, sounding and text and it is an inexhaustible resource for ongoing discovery and development. She continues her investigation of improvisation in the trance work of Tony Yap.
Alongside a secret passion for composing on the piano, through improvisation Noelle likes to delve into the worlds of the ordinary, the imaginary and the dream like, explore dance and forms of language, give voice to the political, make forays into voice play and song and take sustenance from the wellspring of playful enjoyment.
Catherine is a dancer with over thirty years performance experience. She has a BA (Dance), is a certified Pilates Practitioner and is currently enrolled in the MA (Art in Public Spaces) at RMIT. Working with the embodied moment, her performance style is a beguiling mix of word and movement narratives, fiercely driven, with surprising shifts from steady and serious, to wry wit and dance clown. The content is political and poetic, speaking to issues from the personal to the global (e.g., feminism, ageing, the environment, social justice). Since 2012, Catherine has performed annually with Debra Batton (as Such n Such) at Dancehouse Fringe Season, Melbourne Fringe Festival, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. As a soloist, she has taught and performed locally and internationally at Varia Festival (Sweden), ImproXchange (Berlin), the Australian Contact Improvisation Festival, Precipice (annual Australian Improvisation Festival), NOW Pieces, Deakin University, and in numerous self-produced shows.
Peter is a performer known for his unique physicality, heightened by graphic verbal abilities and a wry wit. Based in Melbourne, he was a member of Al Wunder’s Theatre of the Ordinary from 1982 – 88. Born from this emerged a fruitful 13-year period of research and collaboration with Andrew Morrish. Together, they performed in Australia and the US to considerable acclaim. This period forged many of Peter’s ideas about improvisation, dance, and language. Now as a solo artist, he continues to explore his curiosity into the potential for both movement and text to emerge and take rich vibrant form in the present moment of performance.
Finalé: The Bill
Two For Now, Moses Carr, Rosalind Crisp and Antony Hamilton