Marching on… Festival style! “Work it”, “Site Effects”, “Sound & Fury”

EDITOR: Alison Plevey has been working on more things than we can keep track of.

Wow, an intense couple of weeks approaches its climax with two Canberra emerging arts festivals Art Not Apart and You Are Here.

I have been in the workplace, on site at NewActon and in the theatre at QL2 the past three weeks amidst ‘normal’ activities creating WORK IT, Site Effects and choreography for Sound & Fury.

WORK IT is a project unique to my process and practice though combining all that inspires me and motivates me to make and perform work. It is a multimedia site dance piece exploring that often repetitive, taxing and yet incredibly intrinsic activity, work. It challenges and reveals our we experience work its interconnectivity amidst an increasingly distant and social disconnected world. What is the business that we do and why do we do it?

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The project, supported by artACT project funding, QL2 Dance and the two presenting festivals involves a collaboration with a new combination of incredible artists, including Cinematographer/video mixer Caitlin Welch, Audio Design/sound mix Yohan Iddawela, Dramaturgy by my Lingua Franca Co Director Adam Deusien. As performer and choreographer I am enriched by the ideas and skills brought to the table from these individuals. Exposing and breaking down ‘my way’ or ‘the perceived way’ to do things and seeing our other people work and approach creative process has been mind opening. The other element to this is of course the collaborators of the workplaces we have visited and who mostly all feature in he work. Their generosity, honesty and passion for what they do has motivated us to present and illuminate all that encompasses this gargantuan notion of work.

Site Effects, a piece involving fourteen senior QL2 dancers will feature at Art Not Apart, reactive to the site, activities and essence of place. Ruth Osborne and I have worked with the dancers in the studio and on site at NewActon to develop a promenade improvisation score that illuminates, surprises and enlivens the festival day with movement. Finishing at the Acton Beach party! The dancers, some new to improvisation and particularly site work are tackling it with enthusiasms and energy. With thanks to David Caffery and the Molonglo group for this commission.

Thirdly I am working with Jessica Ausserlechner and Alison McGregor to add some contemporary movement and life to Sound & fury, the performance art after party of Art Not Apart. The short works aim to connect across culture, stimulate questions about conformism and open our hands to give and take and create.

Thanks to QL2 dance for their support in providing a curated residency to make these activities possible. It is crucial to have this time and space to work.

Bring on the festivities!

Art Not APart, Saturday 14th March 1pm – 11pm

You Are Here, 18th – 22nd March


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About Alison Plevey

Alison is an award-winning choreographer and dance and physical artist based in Canberra. Her practice spans youth dance and theatre, education, cross-disciplinary collaborations, festival commissions, solo research and arts industry development in regional NSW and the ACT. Alison holds a first class honours degree from WAAPA. She is a member of The Childer’s Group, an independent arts advocacy group in Canberra. Recent works include ‘Mine!’ (ACT National Science Week 2017), ‘Nervous’ at Mount Stromlo Observatory, and ‘Strings Attached’ at New Acton, ‘Dancing with Drones’ (Performance Space LiveWorks 2015), ‘Shake It’ (Art, Not Apart Festival 2017), ‘Autonomous’ (You Are Here Festival 2017), ‘Sprout’ (Art, Not Apart Festival 2016), ‘Heatwave’ (Dance on the Edge 2016), ‘Johnny Castellano is Mine’ (The Street Theatre 2014), ‘WORK IT’ (Art, Not Apart and You Are Here Festivals 2015). Alison is Co-Director of dance and physical theatre company Lingua Franca with Adam Deusien. Based in Bathurst they create visceral original performance engaging professional, emerging and community artists. Their recent work ‘unsustainable behaviour’ was presented at the Regional Arts Australian Conference, ArtLands Dubbo 2016). Alison is Leader of new Canberra company Australian Dance Party, driven by her ongoing study of dance as a universal communicative medium and a powerful practice for humanity to experience, debate and celebrate. The Party is an evolution of her work as a solo artist and inspired collaborations with diverse artists in Canberra. She aims to build the sustainability of professional dance in our political capital and legitimise the role of the arts in our contemporary context.