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The Tennis Piece

'The Tennis Piece' (2019), Atlanta Eke. Photo by Gregory Lorenzutti for Dancehouse
19—21 Marchb 2019

Collingwood Town Hall 140 Hoddle Street, Collingwood

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Atlanta Eke has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most provocative choreographers with a radical approach to tackling the complex anxieties of our technologically laden world. The Tennis Piece is a dance performance and multimedia installation that reimagines the Tennis Court as a time machine, performed by 4 dancers, 4 tennis ball machines, 400 tennis balls, and a robotic lute. Eke, together with her dancers, travel back to 20 June 1789 where the members of the French Third Estate congregated in the city of Versailles and took the Tennis Court Oath, a pivotal event in the French Revolution. What unfolds is a choreographic de-construction of Renaissance dance; the collapse of organised social court dances; and the unleashing of an explosive new process, beyond human agency. Eke contemplates the confines of ‘supreme cosmic intelligence’ through a new choreographic modality that reorganises the known into the deeply unrecognisable.

Dancing in the face of obsolescence, against an irrational and intensifying flow of 400 hundred tennis balls and 4 self-feeding tennis ball machines, The Tennis Piece becomes a container for positive feedback loops — ever rapidly approaching an unthinkable limit that was forever and always already there.

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Atlanta Eke is a dancer and choreographer working internationally. In 2010, Atlanta was a DanceWEB Europe scholarship recipient mentored by artist Sarah Michelson. She has performed with and for Sidney Leoni, Marten Spangberg, Xavier Le Roy, Maria Hassabi, Joan Jonas, Christine de Schmitt and Jan Ritesmas among others and participated in the Allianz-The Agora Project (Performing Arts Forum) France. Atlanta was the winner of the inaugural Keir Choreographic Award, received Next Wave Kickstart in 2011, was the Dancehouse Housemate resident and an ArtStart Grant recipient. She has shown works at Next Wave Festival, ACCA, Spring1883, Chunky Move, Carriageworks, National Gallery of Victoria, Dance Massive Festival, MONA FOMA, DARK MOFO, MDT Stockholm, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Fierce Festival Birmingham, Les Plateaux de la Briqueterie Paris, Adelaide Festival to name a few. In 2016 Atlanta received Artshouse CultureLab for; I CON and Death Of Affect. In 2017 she was commissioned for the inaugural biennale The National Exhibition and more recently Atlanta presented Body Of Work at Performance Space New York.

The Tennis Piece begins as ‘live trailers’ at Gertrude Contemporary exhibited as an installation and a series of choreographed activations before being presented by Dancehouse as a feature length performance at Collingwood Town Hall as a part of Dance Massive from 19 March 2019 – 21 March 2019.

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