mobius was long

October 31st, 2007

We performed at Musicircus last weekend in Melbourne as part of the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts.

I don’t know if it got added to the official Melbourne Festival Musicircus website, but here is the blurb we wrote for our performance:

Whilst performing in Canberra last year David and Jacob overheard, in the foyer before the show, a lady and gentleman discussing the program notes. The gentleman suggested that the notes were pretentious intellectual dribble.

Our dribble for this installation project is as follows:
David and Jacob have been working for many years in the area of contemporary improvised performance. Our base physicality is a dance form called Contact Improvisation. We are interested in how meaning is created whether it is intentional or not. We enjoy performing with no explicit meaning intended and observing the feedback loop that is created through us, each other and the observers.

For this installation we have chosen the The Mobius strip as a metaphor for something simple, yet profound. If we were pushed to contextualise this installation we would probably point at current political, social and environment concerns and draw some analogy between them and a sense of oneness. We would do this to create a contemporary sense of meaning and connection.

To be honest we like the mobius strip because for us it has a sense of change, strangeness, continuity and inspires curiousity.

We hope you enjoy mobius as part of Musicircus.

It was quite an event. For us, it was a bit of a marathon. It took us 6 hours to complete the giant Mobius strip, which wound up and down and around the framework of the Fracture Gallery at BMW Edge. Then we slung some hammocks and made an attempt at having a snooze – which, with the amount of noise going on, and being suspended some distance from the ground, was not so straightforward. In fact, it was a little bit like having a very psychedelic dream.

We climbed into out hammocks at about 2.30am and climbed out at about 3.30am just as Die Roten Punkte were finishing a performance below us. Then we got ready to dismantle the whole thing, which started at 4.30am. By 4.36am we’d pulled all of the paper down and we then proceeded to de-rig and clean up and ended perfectly on time to watch the final moment at 5.20am.

A few pictures of the event from inside the glass.
mobius 1mobius 2
mobius 3


October 3rd, 2007

coming up in October we will be creating a work for John Cage’s Musicircus as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival – an event created by Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey. the work we are creating is a performance installation that runs from dusk to dawn beginning Friday October 26th in the BMW Edge Fracture Gallery in Melbourne.

following on from musicircus we will be performing at Al Wunder’s Feast of Improvisation at Cecil Street Studio in Fitzroy, Melbourne, starting at 8.30pm.

here’s the flyer.

mobius ad

lil’ con

July 6th, 2007

David will be performing at The Little Con in July 2007. The Little Con is a monthly event of dance improvisation:

The Little Con
Sunday 8th July, 6:30pm

Short, sweet and just plain good old fashioned dancing.
A monthly showcase of creative concoctions in improvisation.

    Featuring (in any order you please):

  • Michaela Pegum
  • Shaun McLeod
  • Al Wunder
  • Paul Romano
  • Special Mystery Guest

Cost: $5 @the door
Cecil Street Studio – 66 Cecil St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

A monthly confluence of conspicuous artists and their convivial congeries of confabulation.
Held every second sunday of the month.
2007: 11 Feb | 11 March | 8 April | 13 May | 10 June | 8 July | 12 Aug | 9 Sept | 14 Oct | 11 Nov | 9 Dec


David is the ‘special mystery guest’! ;)

You can join the little con email list by sending them an email using the link above.
Here’s the flyer:
little con

absent in form

May 30th, 2007

we’ve started a little process of duetting over long distance. the first part of this process can be seen below:

this is an initial draft of material that David filmed, performed and edited. the brief for Jacob is simply to ‘respond’ to the footage to start a cyclic process of generating material. there is no end point, no theme, no explicit ideas to be explored. it is open ended and is a way of maintaining our duet practice and develop new work or foundations for new work in the future.

moving amongst scientists

May 1st, 2007

We have been accepted to present a session at the annual conference for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. This is happening in October 2007 and there is more information about the programme and presenters available on the IADMS website.

We’re looking at integrated conditioning, awareness and safety through Contact Improvisation and related forms.

Here is the original abstract, which is now changing as the session we are presenting is slightly different to the one we applied for:

Contact Improvisation (CI), as a practice form, has a focus on embodied kinaesthetic awareness and experiential learning. Through the development of, and increase in, three-dimensional open-ended pathways CI can allow dancers a greater awareness of their habitual movement patterns and, in turn, provide tools for shifting patterns of behaviour that have negative physiological outcomes.
The form uses elements of Newtonian natural philosophy (gravity, momentum, inertia, centripetal force, friction, resistance, weight and velocity, amongst others) in an ongoing investigation on the interactions between two or more dancers and the floor. In partnering work the form allows one to investigate the potential for alignment, and the harnessing of natural forces, to provide safe and extended weight bearing or lifting. That is, using an integrated awareness of alignment, habitual pathways and the potential for new pathways CI can condition the dancer to utilise more than simple muscular strength in weight bearing.
As a young and non-codified form (CI was established in the early 1970s and there is no accreditation for teaching) there has been interaction with related areas such as Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, martial arts, Tango and release-based techniques. CI can provide a useful training tool for dancers in any form and, through developing personal kinaesthetic awareness, extended proprioception and integrated alignment, it conditions the dancer’s body in safety.
We will present this work as an interactive forum through demonstrating particular techniques and with hands on experiential learning. There will be ample opportunity for discussion as well as direct knowledge transmission through movement.

it’s only video, but we like it

March 26th, 2007

Recently we were featured on the ArtsHub website:

Firstly there was a short piece about our Australian Dance Award nomination and subsequent trip to New York –

The second one was a more in-depth interview style looking at how we use (and think about) YouTube and video on the web –

These articles both used the clips from YouTube embedded in the content of the webpages – it’s quite amazing how simple it is now to present video material anywhere on the internet.

video page and youtube

February 18th, 2007

we’ve updated the media video page so it shows a gallery of our videos that are up on YouTube.

go and have a look.

one click access :)

mind map to new york

February 18th, 2007

It started with a mind map and ended with a tour to New York. Three years ago we sat down together and worked out what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it.

The key points were, we wanted to tour overseas with our own work and we wanted to do it by self-funding. The mind map had a tour of 4-5 cities, in the end we went to one. The idea to self-fund worked on an agreement to split our earnings from joint projects into thirds, one third each and a third into the pot.

The ‘pot’ allowed us to fund ourselves to do many small projects over the year by paying for a flight here or there, or paying for expenses whilst working. Over 2005/2006 we had a good run of work and managed to save close $7000.

Realising the overseas part took a lot of energy and persistence; David was the keystone for this. It took close to 6 months to make contact and convince the Movement Research Festival that we were legitimate and keen as mustard to get there. Uploading our work onto YouTube and being able to send MR the link was an important as it allowed the festival curator to see our work and make an informed decision. While we could have sent a DVD or VHS of our work, using YouTube meant that the material was accessible immediately. It also reduced costs for us as we were contacting a number of producers/promoters – all it requied was them having broadband access (which most do).

We couldn’t book our tickets until we had confirmation and we were heading into peak season. Accommodation had to be sourced and we were lucky enough be able to stay with friends whilst there. Thank you Rachel, Justin and Joseph.

Before leaving Australia we discussed applying for more funding and made some initial enquiries to the Australia Council (our advice here is to call and talk to them rather than email – after numerous emails back and forth there was confusion and annoyance on both sides) but in the end decided to do this own our own merits and without the extra obligation of acquittal. Also, it was unlikely we would be successful in gaining the funding on short notice and the whole point of saving was to avoid doing things like writing grants.

For studio hire in New York we used the Panetta Movement Centre which is a lovely light filled studio.
214 W. 29th Street
Suite 1001, 10th fl.
New York, NY 10001
It is cheap (US$12 an hour) and seems to have a broad community using it.

If you are going to tour to NY and need a studio try

Performance in New York is divided, by those who know, into uptown and downtown work. We were told we are definitely downtown performance.

Performance venues to check out
PS 122 –
St Marks –
The Kitchen –
Joyce Soho –
Movement Research (using the Judson Church and other venues) –

If you’re keen to get over there we’d really encourage you to go for it. If you want some more thoughts or suggestions get in touch and we’ll tell you some more!

some photos from St Marks

February 5th, 2007

Rachel Roberts came and took some photos for us while we were in NYC performing at St Marks.
Here’s some low-res versions for you to have a look at.

Thanks so much Rachel.


the whirlwind that was

December 20th, 2006

well, we had plans to update the blog while we were on the road but, needless to say, it didn’t eventuate.
the 6 days (that’s right, less than a week) of our first visit to New York was extremely full and didn’t really allow much time for sitting and writing. here’s a quick overview, more details to come about venues, etc.

after two days in Toronto being looked after by our friends we flew into JFK Airport at around midday. the taxi ride to manhattan is capped at US$45 and took us straight to St Marks in the lower East Village area. we had 2 hours of time in the space there where we were accompanied by some painters who repainting the walls. from there we went to the Panetta Movement Centre for 2 hours rehearsal time (of which I slept for 40mins or so) then headed to our accommodation. the next day we had some more rehearsal time at Panetta and a tech run in the evening where we met Kathy Kaufmann who was lighting the works for the festival as well as Bessie and Ishmael Houston-Jones from Movement Research.
our third day was spent wandering around New York. a stroll through Central Park, walking down to Times Square, a wee sojourn in Hell’s Kitchen.
then the first night of the festival. we were on the bill with Polly Motley and Miguel Gutierrez – Miguel will be in Australia in 2007 choreographing on Balletlab. our performance was in between Polly’s and Miguel’s. we’ve uploaded a video of the performance to YouTube which you can view here. we had an amazing response to our work that was a great acknowledgement, for us, of what we’ve achieved in our 10 years of practice. more on this in another post.
the following day we did some more walking around to see the sites as well as checking out some possible venues for touring in the future. we caught the Staten Island Ferry there (State Island of course) and back and got a great view of the city. went to two of The Strand bookstores, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and caught headed in for the second evening of performance for the festival, which featured Daniel Lepkoff, Paige Martin, Chris Aiken and Marc Boivin. after a short visit to a Jazz club in Harlem we headed to our new digs for the night.

sunday was a little more relaxed as we caught up with people we’d intended to meet and then headed in for our second show – here on YouTube (my, you’re going to be keen to watch 40 minutes on such a small screen!). just an aside… we’ve put up long unedited excerpts (and in these two cases, full shows) for people to see because we want people to get some experience of what we do in real-time as opposed to what we could create through editing the work and providing a montage. there’s a tendency for people to show work that is a slick edit of a stage work, and that doesn’t really let you engage beyond the gloss of the edit. aside finished. after this show (to which we also received an extremely positive response) we went for dinner with some of the artists and staff at a local resteraunt.

our final day was probably one of the most hectic. we had arranged a few meetings and wanted to scope out some more venues so we really hightailed around the city before catching a cab to the airport after lunch. two car accidents on the route to the airport meant that we were quite late for our plane to LA but there was no problems. on the long haul leg (13.5 hours) from LA to Sydney we bought an upgrade to business class at the LA terminal at a very reasonable price. it was such a good thing to do – made a huge difference to how we experienced jetlag when we got home.

now begins the work of following up and trying to organise our next tour, which we hope to be a season of our own work.

we will post some more details about our experience soon – hopefully some of which will be useful to others looking to head over to NY to perform.