Editor: Ash Bye was working in the QL2 studios with a Curated Residency the last few days.
For the second instalment of our long-distance dance project Far Flung, Courtney and I are excited to be recreating the work on four talented Quantum Leapers for the You Are Here festival this month: Maddy Towler-Lovell, Nasim Patel, Jason Pearce and Ursula Taylor.
Courtney and I are based in Brisbane and Melbourne respectively, and we recently planned to meet up at QL2 to create a fresh, Canberra based iteration of Far Flung in one weekend with the help of our dancers. These plans went slightly astray after an incident involving Courtney, a flooded sports oval and a boogie board resulting in a leg wound and a week-long course of intravenous antibiotics. This news was shortly followed by some more: a power outage had been scheduled at Gorman House on our final rehearsal day.
The odds seemed stacked against us as we endeavoured to produce a dance work that involves 3 (simultaneous) performance venues, 10 different electronic devices equipped for video communication, 4 tin cans and 2 pieces of string.
Luckily, there is nothing like a bit of pressure to get the creative cogs turning. I am happy to say that with Courtney’s support via speakerphone we rose to the challenge (even in the semi-darkness) and will be presenting our experimental blend of live and digital performance in two shows next week!
The audience will meet at Canberra Museum and Gallery where they will be invited to remain in that space, or accompany festival volunteers to one of our other performance venues at Gorman House or the You Are Here Festival Hub on East Row and City Walk. For anyone who would love to see the show but cannot make the performances, we will be live-streaming the shows to YouTube, which means that audience members can watch our show live from wherever they may be! These videos will also be available on YouTube after the festival for those who were unable to watch live or would like to relive the show!
I take my figurative hat off to the Quantum Leapers who have thrown themselves into this challenging project and its crazy rehearsal process. In a very short space of time they have grasped the concept of the project and created new sections that are entirely based on their personal experiences of long distance and digital communication. They have allowed Courtney and me to begin and continue the creative process with them through their email inboxes, and have committed to memory not only physical choreography, but choreography of their computers, tablets and smartphones. And don’t forget the tin cans and string!
Courtney and I would like to say thankyou to everyone at QL2 and You Are Here for continuing to support our work and our creative endeavours, especially in the face of blackouts and the most logistically complicated project proposal we could think of. We are very much looking forward to this year’s festival and hope to see you there!