Strange Attractor was one intensely enriching week of dance, development, discussion. As one of the project producers, along with the unstoppable Adelina Larsson and Jamie Winbank, I was overjoyed to see the vision of the project evolve from its first incarnation in 2013 to one that has enabled such a fertile ground for artist development.
The project this year saw nine dance artists connected to Canberra, many of whom had worked together previously in various capacities here and beyond the ACT, selected to participate in a week long choreographic development lab including audience showings at Gorman Arts Centre and QL2 Dance. The week enabled rare opportunities for artists to share creative practice/methodologies, engage in critical/peer feedback, and exposure and dialogues with audiences.
For me the most valuable aspect of the week was utilising focussed time to experiment, play and create amongst peers who were undertaking similar investigative research. I was lucky enough to share this time to work with my collaborator Caitlin Welch on the first development of our new site dance multimedia adventure Work It. We site danced, filmed, tested, edited, responded, discussed, reversed, repeated, reflected, re-edited, re-responded….developing new working processes and material that have set us in good stead in anticipation of full creative development in 2015. To have this time, space and resources, the biggest resource being each other to bounce off, was crucial and invaluable.
Facilitator for the project, Natalie Cursio, dotted our days with questions, provocations and invitations to interact with each others’ creative approaches. Her approach laid a malleable structure for the week, giving the lab a concentrated focus with the right amount of creative chaos that often fuels artistic process.
As a Canberra based dancer invested in the development of quality performing arts here, Strange Attractor was also an artform building exercise, a seed for the growth of our professional community of dance. Being surrounded by such a wealth of creativity, positivity and engagement with dance practice in its process and performance I feel exhaustedly energised and motivated to make, discuss, engage and to do the work of an artist.
I wish to thank Adelina and Jamie, the beautiful artists and project supporters, Ausdance ACT, Gorman + Ainslie Arts Centres, artsACT and QL2 Dance for the impetus and contribution to dance culture. We are excited by the possibilities of Strange Attractor to continue to cultivate professional dance in Canberra and beyond.
Co-Director, Lingua Franca
Paul Simon Jackson,
Gorman + Ainslie Arts Centres,