This is the third in the series of Now Pieces events featuring performance artists whose work is dance/movement inclusive. Debra Batton, Amaara Raheem, Gretel Taylor, Neil Thomas and Frank van de Ven each present a 10 minute improvised piece.
Performance improvisation has a long linage and broad base of committed practitioners and requires a well developed sense of presence, attention to detail and an ability to craft an overall piece on the go.
This is an opportunity to be in the midst of finely tuned responsive, nuanced and energised performance.
Debra Batton — Performer, Director, Teacher, Artsmaker
Debra has no loyalty to genre, she can be found in the circus tent, the theatre, the dance studio and occasionally on screen or in the street. She currently performs with Such n Such, Batton & Broadway and A Good Catch. Debra has a long history in performance as director, performer, acrobat, dancer, choreographer, facilitator and actor. She was the Artistic Director of Legs on the Wall for nearly ten years with a devising ensemble and collaborating artists from Australia, Canada and the U.K. Last year she was invited to direct Unsuitable with Tumble Circus in Belfast and then Avignon Festival France. She teaches performance at NICA and acrobatics at Circus Oz – to make ends meet she also makes coffees on the weekends. Most recently Casting Off by A Good Catch was awarded the Total Theatre award for Circus in Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as the Melbourne and Adelaide fringe awards for best circus.
middleaged, female, southasian, voluptuous, 1,544m, greyisthenewblack hairstyle, Performerimprovisercookerletterwritertarotcardreaderexperimentalsinger /// Won spelling bees and elocution competitions in tropics /// Studied avant grade Nordic performance techniques, and everything else in the expanded field /// Escaped from ballet // Dug in improvisation with Andrew Morrish, Peter Trottman, Rosalind Crisp, Deborah Hay, Seke Chimutengwende, and many others /// Made platforms for improvisation and experimental performance in London with temporary collectives /// joined Xavier Le Roy’s itinerant tribe of dancers in 2015 /// makes own work /// guilty of producing another PhD that’s hard to explain to parents /// Recent Creations /// Trade Winds, Bus Projects (2019) // Unchart, Freemantle Arts Centre (2019) // Room to Move Residency, Dancehouse (2019) // Southerly, Seventh Gallery (2019) // Writing in the Expanded Field, ACCA (2018) // DanceLab, Macau (2018) // Wind Meeting, Performance Arcade, NZ (2018) // (Meth)odology Lab: Making Time, IMA, Brisbane (2017)
Gretel Taylor is a dancer, artist and researcher whose work is often site-responsive and activates decolonizing and ecological themes. Gretel currently works as Lecturer and Research Fellow in Art and Performance at Deakin University. She also teaches Body Weather Training at Dancehouse. Gretel and photographer Laki Sideris have recently been developing a dance-place-video practice and body of work, including Plateau exhibited for Head On (Sydney) 2019, Encroach for Force of Nature exhibition, Yarra Ranges Regional Museum (2018), and Scourge for Arts Mildura (Sept-Oct 2019). Gretel has performed with Environmental Performance Authority (EPA) since 2013, creating walking performances that facilitate immersive acquaintance with places, most recently A Blind Date with Blind Creek for Knox Immerse Public Art program (Sept 2019). Gretel is currently co-directing Dancing Between Two Worlds with Shaun McLeod, an outcome of a research project with artists from Indian backgrounds living in Melbourne’s west (November 2019, Deakin University). www.greteltaylor.com
Neil Thomas has an international reputation for innovative, exciting and highly successful public performance works. Large scale works include The Urban Dream Capsule, and the Museum of Modern Oddities Which toured for many years and garnered international awards. In 2016 commenced work with David Wells to the present date. Highlights included a six month artists residency at Arts Centre Melbourne, a residency in the Gold Coast Arts Centre HOTA, created and performed ‘Cyclo Illuminato’, created “Red Arcade’ a major performance installation in Werribee, and premiered a new young children’s show ‘The Land of Nod.’ More details www.thomasandwells.com
Frank Van De Ven is a dancer and director who spent his formative years in Japan working with Min Tanaka and the Maijuku Performance Company (1983-92). He co-founded Body Weather Amsterdam as a platform for training and performance. Currently he performs, directs and teaches in Europe as well as in the USA, New Zealand and Australia. Since 1995 he leads the interdisciplinary Bohemiae Rosa Project with Milos Sejn (Academy of Art & Design, Prague, Czech Republic), connecting body, landscape, art and architecture. For more info on Body Weather Amsterdam bodyweatheramsterdam.nl