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.

Now Pieces #3

Born in a Taxi, Such n Such and Urban Dream Capsule

'No Former Performer Has Performed This Performance Before #4' (2021), Born in a Taxi. Photo by Daniel Rabin.
1 May 2022

Upstairs Studio, Dancehouse

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Concession/Unwaged: $12
Full Price: $15


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Now Pieces is a monthly platform for improvised performance that builds on the lineage of Cecil St Studio, a dance studio in Melbourne for 21 years that is now earmarked for demolition, to build apartments. Now Pieces continues a long standing disciplined exploration of embodied performance practice that leads to crafted, spontaneous and artful communication made on-the-go. This program invites a range of intergenerational practitioners who — in one way or another — prioritise movement to incorporate body, sound, vocalisation, memory, image and energy, responding to each passing moment in relation to the space where they are dancing in relation to the audience. Now Pieces 2021 curates curators as well as performers, opening up improvisation as a relevant, urgent, poetic transdisciplinary practice that reflects back patterns and possibilities for freedom, and flight.

This Now Pieces, 30 years in the making, features 3 remarkable Improvised Performance Ensembles.

Curator: Kevin Jeynes
Born in a Taxi (Penny Baron, Carolyn Hanna and Michael Havir), Such n Such (Debra Batton and Catherine Magill), Urban Dream Capsule (Andrew Morrish, Nick Papas, Neil Thomas and David Wells)

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Born in a Taxi‘s Artistic Directors, Penny Baron and Carolyn Hanna with sound artist Michael Havir, have a long-standing relationship exploring performance, risk, improvisation, and audience-performer reciprocity through the mediums of movement, text, and sound. Improvisation is the engine of Born in a Taxi multidisciplinary practice. Over the past three decades, the depth of Born in a Taxi’s art form inquiry has led the company to develop a unique methodology and pedagogy in movement-based ensemble improvisation. This trio is committed to an annual long form improvisation ‘No Former Performer has Performed this Performance Before…till they die. Edgy and immediate, intuitive, and responsive.

Such n Such is Debra Batton and Catherine Magill, treading the boards with a bouquet of irony, a palette of pathos and a joy for the ridiculous. Cloaked in the everyday, they surge through the space with terrifying surprise and vigorous exposition. The domestic is political, the personal is public, words dance and actions quiver as the taboos of body and mind battle the multidimensional relationships of the improvised duet. The Dance is direct — confronting choreographic connections and associations as they arrive; moments accumulate, seemingly fragmented ideas coagulate, only to disintegrate before returning to ameliorate.

Urban Dream Capsule is a unique improvised performance ensemble Andrew Morrish, Nick Papas, Neil Thomas and David Wells that’s been thirty years in the making. Over a period of ten years these four performers spent 6 months, day and night, living, dancing and improvising inside shop windows the world over. They know each other in ways no else does. Collaborating through their collective decades of experience to soft shoe shuffle through the surreal territory of loaded landscapes and dream laden delirium, they push off from the known shores. What magic will they bring to a space without a glass front?


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