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'Quake' (2019), Hellen Sky & Myriam Gourfink with Mark Cauvin & Kasper T. Toeplitz. Photo by Gregory Lorenzutti for Dancehouse
21—23 March 2019

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

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Quake is a synthesis of hypnotic sound and uncanny movement, developed through the international collaboration of four independently renowned artists and anchored by the force of their ground-breaking work in the fields of sound and choreographic composition, computer technology and installation.

As the four performers inhabit the expanded installation, the performance ensemble is reconceived as a system that considers psychological, anthropological and technological exchange as an exploration of time itself. Employing organic, analogue acoustic instruments and the physics of sound enhanced through digital processing, Quake creates a multimedia landscape that breathes new meaning into everything that we see, hear and feel.

In a world that moves too fast, the ‘players’ invite us to reflect on the nature of movement and affect in our relationship to environment and landscape, palimpsests of histories, digital interfaces and cellular structures. Quake is conceived to negotiate the intensification of technological speed as a force at play in the site of the body as analogous to a global entanglement with the data sphere. It points to the idea that the porosity between the micro and macro worlds, and the borders of our perceptions and geographies hold the same tensions as our climatic extremes.

Choreography & Performance: Hellen Sky, Myriam Gourfink
Sound Design & Performance: Mark Cauvin, Kasper T. Toeplitz
Lighting Design: Nik Pajanti

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Hellen Sky is an Australian digital choreographer/performer/director/writer. Her projects bridge dance, performance and installation at times extended through new technologies and data generated by the body as a fluid interface between micro-movements, media, virtual-electronic and physical architectures, words and objects. As co-founder and director new media performance company, Company in Space (1992 -2004) and as Hellen Sky & Collaborators, she has presented work across  Australia and internationally. She has studied dance in Australia and internationally (Australian Ballet School, Victorian College of the Arts, Postgraduate Studies at RMIT Architecture Department – Spatial Architectural Information Laboratory) and was a founding member of Circus Oz. Sky is a Fellow of the Australia Council Dance Fund, Nominee of the Leonardo MIT, Rockerfeller Ford Foundation Global Crossing Award; and co-founder and Artistic Director of Dancehouse, 1991–2001.

Myriam Gourfink is known for her extremely unusual writing, based on Kinetography Laban, as well as her close connection with contemporary music and new digital technologies. Her dance is essentially infused with yoga and her experience as a performer (particularly with Odile Duboc). A figurehead of choreographical research in France, she received the Beaumarchais scholarship in 2000 for her project Too Generate. In the same year, she won the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs award (New York, 2000), and in 2002 she received a writing scholarship from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication for a project aiming to develop writing for choreographical composition and its integration into computer technology. Her work is largely inspired by this relationship with IT : Glossolalie (1999), Too Generate (2000), L’écarlate (2001), Marine (2001), Rare (2002), Contraindre (2004), This is my house (2006), Les temps tiraillés (2009) and has been presented in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan and more. As resident artist at IRCAM (Institute for Music/Acoustic Research and Coordination) in 2004–2005, and at the Fresnoy National Studio of Contemporary Arts in 2005–2006, Myriam Gourfink initiated educational work based on her composition processes, in France and abroad. In january 2008, she becomes Artistic Director of the Program for Choreographic Research and Composition at the Royaumont Foundation.

Mark Cauvin is a classically trained Double Bass interpreter and performer of contemporary solo double bass music. He studied at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Scuola Internazionale d’Alto Perfezionamento Musicale Italy, Perugia and Stockhausen Courses in Germany. He has been a recipient of three individual artist grants from the Australian Council for the Arts and published numerous audio recordings and a music DVD. As a composer Mark draws connections with new sounds created using old technologies, extentions of extended techniques on the double bass and western tonal systems to create vivid textures. He has had new works composed for him by Cat Hope, David Young and Italian Double Bass Maestro Fernando Grillo (1945-2013). Mark’s multimedia work Die Dunkelkammer (The Darkroom) for Soloist and Electronic Music has been presented at PNEM Sound Arts Festival (Netherlands) performed live in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and at Edith Cowan University in Perth (2015).

Kasper Toeplitz is a composer and electric bass player, with a body of work in the no-man’s-land between “academic,” electronic composition and sheer noise. Known for collaborating with such unclassificable musicians as Zbigniew Karkowski, Dror Feiler, Art Zoyd, Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock and Ulrich Krieger, Toeplitz makes use of the computer both as a real instrument and as a tool for reflecting on music differently, transforming the musical parameters of pitch data and temporality. Some of Toeplitz’s awarded distinctions and prizes include first prize for orchestral composition at the Besancon Festival, first prize at the “Opera autrement / centre Acanthes” competition, Villa Medicis Hors les Murs (New York), grant Leonardo da Vinci (San Francisco), Villa Kujoyama (Kyoto), DAAD (Berlin) and Hors les murs (Warsaw).

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