Finalé: Postcards from the Verge
On The Verge
Tales from the year-that-was as we glide through the present and into the beyond. Glimpses, dreams, reflections, vignettes, worlds, and words that teeter on the edge of existence and the unknown.
During 2022, 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 Postcards from the Verge several of these participants will perform pieces of expanded duration.
Performers: Neil Thomas, Lynne Santos, Such n Such (Catherine Magill & Debra Batton), Shaun McLeod, Bronwen Kamasz, Peter Trotman, and Kevin Jeynes
Curator: Peter Trotman
Shaun McLeod is a Melbourne-based dancer and dance-maker with a particular interest in performance improvisation. He particularly enjoys the qualities of attention and presence that manifest in improvisation. Recent work has focused on improvisation, and he has maintained a performance improvisation practice as a regular performer at events such as The Little Con, Conundrum, The Dance Card and Now Pieces. He was invited to perform at the Seoul International Crossover Improvisation Festival in South Korea, performed in john cage’s musicircus for the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, mounted his work The weight of the thing left its mark for the national dance festival Dance Massive, and was one of the 20 choreographers chosen for Dancehouse’s 20th year celebration performance Alive!. Shaun has an ongoing collaborative relationship with the members of About Now who make site-responsive works in diverse situations. He was senior lecturer in Art and Performance at Deakin University until 2021.
Lynne Santos has been a performance practitioner since 1987. She has been a member of Kinetic Energy, One Extra Co., TOTO, Born In A Taxi, Teatro del’IRAA, Tony Yap Company and others. Lynne participates in the annual Impro-Exchange and TANK presented by De Quincey Company. She regularly takes part in Precipice, an annual improvisation festival in Canberra, organised by Tony Osborne, Peter Trotman and Andrew Morrish. She performs works in various events in Melbourne and Sydney. Lynne has continued her improvisation practice for over 30 years and has studied it in various settings including Butoh and Body Weather. Spontaneous composition has been an invaluable tool for developing her style of movement and text and is an inexhaustible resource for ongoing discovery and development. She currently continues her investigation of improvisation by experiencing it in the context of trance under the teaching of Tony Yap.
Debra Batton has no loyalty to genre, she can be found in circus, theatre, dance, or on screen and the street. She currently performs with Such n Such, Batton & Broadway and A Good Catch. Debra has a long history in performance as director and performer including a decade as Artistic Director of Legs on the Wall. Debra enjoys sharing ideas and skills for devising performance and is currently doing her MA in Art in Public Space at RMIT.
Catherine Magill (BA Dance) focuses on the exploration and development of instant composition, spoken word and the embodied moment. Her practice is informed by Authentic Movement, Body Mind Centering and numerous dance techniques. A teacher of performance improvisation, pilates and contact improvisation she has taught in a variety of setting including Deakin University. Catherine has performed as a solo artist both on stage and in film, and curated and performed in numerous shared presentations.
Melbourne based artist, Bronwen Kamasz, has been honing her skills as an improviser for several years. Originally a sculptural installation artist, Bronwen has blended her experience with material in space to the body in space to create a kinaesthetic experience for the viewer that investigates the psychosocial space of the gallery/stage. On Monday nights Bronwen co-facilitates In The Moment at Dancehouse – this peer practice session is part of their innovative Dancehousing community program. Bronwen is a core member of Environmental Performance Authority (EPA) who create site specific and participatory walking performances. Always happy to pick up old threads from the past, Bronwen has been delving into printmaking and alternative photography processes such as frottage and sun printing, as they rely on immediate relationships to built and natural environments.
Neil Thomas has an international career of over 30 years in breaking theatrical traditions, including the ‘Urban Dream Capsule’ and the ‘Museum of Modern Oddities’. His latest work is an exploration of improvisation, character, and text over original electronic beats.
possibly. playful. poetic. poignant.
Kevin Jeynes’ approach to improvised performance has, over the past 20 years, traversed the pleasing plains of cohesion and the slippery slopes of disintegration in movement, sound, song and text. He has performed extensively throughout Australia at venues in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra and at Improxchange, Berlin. He was a member of ‘Making Space’, an improvisational research group in Brisbane, from 2003 to 2007, and co-founder of the ‘Froth’ Performance Venue in Brisbane in 2008. After moving to Melbourne in 2012 Kevin curated and regularly performed in the ongoing series ‘un-attache d’, and ‘Up the Ante’ at the Cecil Street Studio and since 2019 ‘Now Pieces’ at Dancehouse. He has appeared in the shows, Squinting, 241 Years, Hare and Dog, Straw-men, Words Flail, Tooth and Claww, Margins, Finely Tuned-Roughly Grated, Tall Storeys, Flight and Tryptych.
Peter Trotman exemplifies a unique physicality, heightened by graphic verbal abilities and a wry wit. Based in Naarm/Melbourne, he was one of Al Wunder’s first students in Australia and a member of Theatre of the Ordinary since its inception in 1982. Subsequently, in 1988, he embarked on a fruitful collaboration with Andrew Morrish which spanned 13 years. As a duo they performed in Australia and the US to considerable acclaim. This generative period forged many of his ideas about improvisation, dance, language, and performance. Now as a solo artist, Peter 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.