42a at EAF

Last year at Downtown, 42a was the most memorable show for me in Adelaide. Then Alison got Triennial funding and 42a is on next week at the Experimental Art Foundation. mmm… dance installation, small things, vibrating things, etc…

hello friends and lovers,

hope you can make it to 42a the show im directing and performing in along with annemarie kohn, kel mocilnik, adam synnott, alisdair macindoe, rachel fenwick, veronica shum and carlie angel. other possible friends who are involved are sol ulbrich, damo jones, michelle delaney and ade suharto.

we open this thurs 26th june AND perform live in the space for the whole of the opening hours.

thurs 26th 6-8pm, fri 27th 11am-5pm, sat 28th 2-5pm,
tues-fri 1st-4th 11am-5pm, sat 5th 2pm-5pm

come in during the day, stay for an hour or 5mins. come anytime and stay as long as you like. hope to see you there

Lion Arts Centre
North Tce
(next to the jam factory and near fowlers live)
Thurs 26th June 6-8pm
26th June 5th July
Tuesday – Friday 11-5pm
Saturday 2-5pm

the tighter you squeeze

Lina is in Adelaide, working on a development of a new performance, with a showing next Friday. Lucky I’m here too so I get to see a bunch of new work in the next couple of weeks getting made by Adelaide’s. More on the others in the next couple of days.

I would very much like to invite you to an exclusive showing of the first creative development of a new dance work by myself, Lina Limosani.

Currently titled “THE TIGHTER YOU SQUEEZE”, the work is exploring the concepts of Attachment and Detachment.

Your presence and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Please feel free to forward the invitation to others who may be interested in viewing the development.

Please RSVP to this email address if you wish to take up this opportunity.

Hope to see you there.

Lina Limosani

The Tighter You Squeeze
(a first development showing)

Friday 4th April, 7:15pm

Devised and directed by Lina Limosani
Choreographed by Lina Limosani and dancers
Dancers: Adam Synnott, Lisa Griffiths, Aisdair MacIndoe, Emma Stokes
Media Designer: Edmund Chiu

Ausdance Studio
Level 3, “The Atrium”
Station Arcade
136 North Terrace


we were thinking about each other

I returned to Judith Butler last week, beginning a rereading of Gender Trouble and placing Undoing Gender on order at the Experimental Art Foundation. If my works tend to have single books that define them then what will emerge sometime in October I suppose will come from her. I seem to struggle to find theorists or philosophers whose works are less than a decade old who manage to ensnare me, perhaps because the contemporary in whatever they write needs to become history and forgotten first.

Judith Butler, Deleuze and Guattari, especially these writers though also so many others who stormed through me were introduced by – I’d like to remember this as – one person in a whirl of a year that ended with me moving to Melbourne. Sometimes the past is further away than it seems.

At EAF for the mediocre James Dodd exhibition opening following a bowl of noodles, nostalgia and sentimentalism Taiwanese beef noodle soup at Dumpling King with Banksia and Gloria, and I stumble into someone I haven’t seen in maybe eight years. Yes, there is a connection to these books and writers and the person with the books. Was it that I thought of them all and maybe even told some story about them responsible for this reappearance?

Sunday to Yingchow. Not as good as Dumpling King and more expensive. But another reunion, from Berlin and many emails to Adelaide, Paea here and me too. Then to the Grace Emily for an evening of drinking and talking before the last night of Alison’s 42a. Sitting on beer carpet with Xuan remembering Taipei and Taiwan. Later in the front bar with Paea, bits of ourselves. I thought last night how close I am to being home. So elusive.


42a a cameraphone recollection

A recollection of 42a from my phone, somewhat disordered.


How to write about someone I have spent much of the last couple of months hanging out with, eating too much, drinking, laughing till pain sets in? Or more pertinently if I say this is one of the best pieces of art I’ve seen this year, how much of that is derived from knowing Alison Currie and the pleasure I get from seeing their personal weirdness as an artist unfurled? I thought perhaps I tend to favour art by my friends because I have this intimacy with them, an unscrupulous duplicity born of dance world nepotism, but perhaps I like my friends because I am entranced by their intellect and passion and ideas and personal fascination and so the art they make is only this attraction made real. Of course then I’d like it.

42a + downtown artspace = ✓ is is something of an installation, performance art, and post-show party without the attenuating distraction of the show, something of a second-stage development and mostly a visit into the odd minds and home of some of Adelaide’s most sublime artists.

Downtown, located appropriately opposite the warm fire of the Grace Emily Hotel is two smallish concrete rooms, the front possessing a large, wall-opening chrome-fringed sheet glass window. The past three weeks, Alison along with programmer (and dancer and choreographer and maker of Blood Rain) Adam Synnott, video artist Annemarie Kohn, artist and performer, chainsaw collector and cardboard box enthusiast Kel Mocilnik, dancers Veronica Shum and Rachel Fenwick, and with mentor Sol Ulbrich have been inhabiting the two rooms and growing a peculiar collection of objects, movement, things that do things when you do things, food, games, an accumulation of adventures to be found during its opening hours.

This is not a dance performance. It is dance, or rather there is dance there, movement, small phrases that evolve and adapt depending on who is watching, where they are standing or sitting or lying, fragments that come and go that become something different over time. It is like a raindrop. If rain on a window holds no attraction neither will this, though if the difference and repetition of each tiny explosion profoundly stills your attention, the continual ebb and flow here can become transfixing. As a performance it is one to attend or ignore to arrive and leave and arrive again; the opposite of a narrative chained to steps and counts impelled into existence over time that demands unfaltering focus.

Then there is the minutia, for those with microscopic attention who look for dirt in the cracks and seams of tiles, or how one wall folds into another, a certain kind of attention that privileges detail and minor architecture as much as the broad scale inhabited by people, one for getting on your belly and peering. After and hour or so delighting in all these things to be found and discovered, I interrupted Adam in a game of Go with Tanja to coax maybe some more things I’d missed from him. A fake powerpoint, more fingernail sized bicycles, and yes, a chainsaw. Another hour on and still without the chainsaw, I’d increased my collection of oddities again, and when we all departed still thought about what I’d missed.

As with Adam’s in the bones of children in which Alison danced, I’m caught between a mechanical listing and describing of objects and events and an evasive, subtle and entrancing experience, like floating, eyes out of focus. A favourite pastime for me is letting my thoughts bleed to a background haze, eyes barely registering the blankness or complexity of whatever room I’m inhabiting, a comfortable abandonment as much asleep in absence of response to the world yet nowhere near drifting into oblivion. All of 42a allowed my most enjoyed diversion complete indulgence.

Things and objects. Adam has again been programming and soldering, building and coding, giving movement to Annemarie’s luminous pixel flowers sliding across Alison’s turquoise wallpaper, and Kel’s coin-operated ice cave fridge and miniature sink-side tundra. I’m really in awe of his phenomenally rapid grasp and application of the technology he’s working with, and also where his aesthetic is coming from. For me, him and Alison are by far the most interesting and accomplished independent choreographers and artists in Adelaide.

Carboard boxes growing like lichen on moist and shaded concrete, spilling out onto the streets around Downtown, a pop-up New York Story, the coin-operated freezer ice-fountain, a fridge-top plate of hundreds-and-thousands cookies and a television with dancing technicolour cookie dots. The fake powerpoint. A medicine cabinet with ginger candy and Berocca, Alison’s breakfast snacks, The lift to the crystal room, more diminutive bycycles, cars and a condom. The worktable, games, food, chairs to sit with the residents of 42a. The wallpaper growing under linoleum floor tiles, between broken and perished gaps, into the walls where tiles and skirting aren’t quite flush. How much more have I missed?

People dancing. Veronica Shum, Kel Mocilnik and Rachel Fenwick are the trio who deal with the dancing part of this installation, though all the artists by being there somehow emerge as performers or actors. Kel is the only non-dancer in the midst, though for me often he pulled my attention more than the others. Besides having a really elegant natural movement, he was playful and spontaneous in how he could respond to the people closest to him, and more than once had someone following his gaze as he repeatedly glanced at something only he saw, or straining to hear conversations with himself, Veronica, Rachel or someone near.

Rachel often slouched to the floor drunk or insensate, pulling herself inwards mid-phrase to an unconscious stop before getting up, wandering off for a drink of water a sitdown and chat then off somewhere again, maybe to terrify the patrons of the Grace Emily. Veronica was by far the most introverted of the three, barely registering another’s presence, adding a voyeuristic confusion in watching her, like peering through someone’s uncurtained window.

The complete closeness of the dancers to audience, sometimes on top, around, constricting, or just brushing past is mostly absent in dance performance where the body is seen at a distance and the choreography relies on the broadest of gestures. Like Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker in her solo Once, the audience in the first few rows have an entirely different experience to those in the rear. And here, to be able to see and feel the warmth of a dancer’s skin and breath or if you so choose to touch, to see a performance so close it loses focus.

What did I want more of? I came along to the preview or I suppose dress run, and after thought a few things that remained after seeing it at vernissage. Of course I want more things to discover, a continual growth like the forest reclaiming Chernobyl, and for this also to occur across the duration of the season, so the evolution occurs not just across the hours of one day. Yes they only had three quick weeks, and really did not have an unclaimed minute.

The ceiling and area above eye’s horizon was sadly neglected, and I would have loved to find as much fascination in lying on my back gazing skywards as I did looking at the floor. Also, as this was a play with homes to have smells and odours, potted aromas of fish soup and compost, far from the smells of a house under the hammer of an auction. And more sound.

My immediate and enduring favourite place was beside the shoebox cardboard house listening to a drugged chainsaw or farm town pissup on insulating headphones watching Rachel Kel and Veronica arrive and depart. To have more of these also or to hear the different rooms and corners of the gallery amplified like this, the spaces continuously folding in on themselves would have been magical.

The choreography also which evolved depending on who and how many were in what proximity at times had that sleepy attraction for me I am so partial to. Again though I’d have liked to seen a more complex and subtle evolution. Stealing unconscious movement from the audience, growing into something absolutely unrecognisable from what was at the beginning of the night, really to play and be set free from itself. This I think is one of the contemporary concerns in dance, how to get beyond imprisoning movement to steps and counts, to understand movement as a series of initial conditions that can change over multiple iterations the way software models of organisms, cells, life can do the same.

To grasp how this could be achieved in movement I think is what Alison is striving for. Simultaneously how to engender a conceptual involvement with the scale of individuals one step magnified, like standing too close, and where identity resides at this level. Along with her ensemble, Alison is more than capable of bringing these off.

42a + downtown artspace = ✓

Alison Currie, who has managed to keep me laughing until face and stomach pain despite the absence of my baby, and who will really like the image of tight, laceup gay trackies and “Kiss yer guns Gaz!”, lips smacking biceps and a big superhero “rrragggh!!!” to accompany … anyway, she’s a dancer and choreographer when she isn’t getting me liquored up on Cointreau (last tried with dried mango strips).

She’s currently shacked up in Downtown Artspace along with Adam Synnott, lately of in the bones of children, who is frying circuit boards and tormenting code and others all making an installation to open in a couple of weeks. More dance for me to see. And you too.

42 A – 2nd Stage Development Work in Progress

Downtown Art Space 233 Waymouth st, Adelaide
opening 11 wed 6pm
12-15 thurs – sun; 1-5pm and 7-9pm
come anytime and stay as long as you like….
Free entry

42 a is an interactive installation based work at the nexus between visual Art installation and performance. The work utilises elements of sculpture, dance, video and new media to explore concepts relating to house and home; memories attached to objects, personal relationships within this space, instructions found in the home, and how individuals relate to the physical constructs of a house. As well as notions of home, where that is, and the possibility of creating this space with in one’s imagination.

Alison Currie Choreographer / Director
Annemarie Kohn Video Artist / Performer
Adam Synnott New Media Artist / Dancer
Kel Mocilnik Visual Artist / Performer
Solon Ulbrich Creative Co-ordinator / Mentor
Veronica Shum Dancer
Rachel Fenwich Seconding Dancer

in the bones of children

In William Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies dvd, he demonstrates the drawing of lines in space as an exersise in geometric analysis. The visual appearance of the lines is done in post-production, an addition to help clarify various operations on pre-existing objects. Adam Synnott started his development showing of In the bones of children in much the same way, except in eight years or so the ease with which technology can allow us to do really complex things means we get to see dancers Alison Currie and Kynan Hughes do all this is real time.

I would characterise this showing as something of a lecture as much as a work in progress. Adam received a grant from SA Youth Arts Board to develop visual and audio tracking techniques, and his work with Jason Lam in designing the software and hardware and Sasha’s audio is as much the focus of this research project as the choreography and narrative structure of the emerging work. Conceptually what they are doing is close to Frieder Weiß in both Glow and with Emily Fernandez in sense, though their use of infra-red triggers on the dancers’ bodies and begins from their bodies rather than a development in interactive lighting.

I’m struggling with the difficulty of making a rather dry descriptive log of what was said, who moved where and what happened, and the far more thrilling, visceral performance of bodies extended by objects. I suppose it is convenient to imagine our bodies finish at our skin, a surface between self and other, but how far does the haze of influence, of heat, the faint electro-magnetic fields, the aura of bacteria and other symbiotic organisms neither us nor individual. So I don’t really ascribe to the conceit of bodies merging with technology, rather it’s objects that unfold what is already present; our world becomes larger because of this.

So, the showing was divided into two sections, the first a clear description from Adam and demonstration from the dancers of the results of the research, and the second being In the bones of the children itself. Holding the triggers, the dancers draw lines that appear on the back-projected screen behind, improvising, and looking a lot like early Chunky Move choreography from the days of Luke Smiles. There’s something really amazing about this simplicity, what Forsythe originally could only make apparent in post-production now is done easily in real time through the incredible flowering of simple, accessible technology in the last ten years.

Technology certainly gives me a thrill in a very geeky way, but it’s the poetic ability to cause gasps of pleasure that is for me what makes it so human. One of the demonstrations was Rain, that could bounce off extended limbs, and flow like water over the outlines of Alison and Kynan’s bodies, and when they touched hands creating a small pool that slowly filled, then pulled their hands apart, the puddle splattering and dropping away … something quite sublime.

Following that was the Quake Arena frag-fest of Blood Guitar, drawing portraits in blood across a 9-square grid on the screen, sucking it to a point, moving in and out to generate it in myriad ways, and maybe to add gravity, wind, turbulence, then rotating it in space to pour down in torrents. Then the pin grid, combining all the ideas shown previously as individual concepts. From what Adam was showing me in January this year, in early stages of coding, it’s astounding how far he and they have all come.

Something I thought with Emily Fernandez’s sense was the nature of projection, the need to back-project in order to eliminate the issue of shadows cutting the video, and the general lack of intensity of the projector light source itself. This tends to under-lighting on the dancers becoming wraiths and shadows lost in the transfixing luminance of the screen. The screen itself is also an issue, being structurally no different from a cyclorama behind a proscenium arch of a classical ballet mise en scene of previous centuries. Within the wonderful play of technology there also needs to be a critique of the elements used to frame it. Modular led screens, stacks of televisions, multiple overlapping projectors, archaic Baroque illumination, so many ways to not fall into the easy choice of a background. Illumination, both of the dancers and of the projection is something that can’t be one compromised to the other.

Some things I was also thinking of was of piping the information sucked in from the cameras instead of into a video projection to go into avatars in Second Life, to have them moving and performing as sinister split personalities, not necessarily even human, maybe avian, maybe not even of Earth. For us we would see the real performers and the projection of Second Life, and for those in 2L, they would see the avatars then the real performance as video.

And on to the work itself, a somnambulistic nightmare in a witching hour nuclear facility, Mr Stewart-Baxter and Miss Cumberdale meet at 1:11am, the old lag handing over the reins to the new girl. I thought if it was November 11, that would have also been appropriate. My immediate thought was of the creepy BBC nuclear terrorism drama from the 1980s, Edge of Darkness, ghosts, spies, treachery, a hidden facility beneath the guttering bowels of vertiginous subterranean caverns, part of the blackness of the late 80s nuclear desolation of Thatcher, Reagan and the eviscerated Soviet Union.

Also was a reminiscence of Chris Morris’s Jam, slow-motion, unfocussed, a narrative not begun on the first page, maybe a commencement of hostilities, maybe a duel of preternatural wills, maybe the correct protocol for nuclear training. Narcoleptic gongfu, occluded pronouncements, words drifting in and out of focus, tension and a horrid waiting for something to happen. Then both of them standing, a dim background of heavy metal, Alison stuck hand extended like a car crash, jumping and getting shoved, damaged fighting bodies. Alison as a dancer and performer is vastly more confident from a few months ago, possessing a clarity, sharpness and ease in moving, making time to dance in the choreography. Together with Kynan they have become one of those duos who seem to have an unearthly connection, that only grows the more time they are together.

For me the first chair-bound confrontation was the most successful and coherent in terms of choreography, the second duo was perhaps diminished by steps. There is a vast territory to explore within the context of the narrative in these aerial collisions and destruction of orbits, that didn’t really get satisfactorily developed. Perhaps that’s just my current disinterest in making steps and the profusion of sameness in movement that on occasion In the bones of children got so far from.

This dissatisfaction also extended to the soundscape when it slipped into ambient beats and electronic blandness. It’s just too easy and sounds like a bunch of random loops in GarageBand. Contra this, the audio of the first section was entirely suited, slowing the progress down as if holding back time.

I think a lot of any criticisms I have are probably minor given that this was a two week development, and one thing Adam repeated constantly was that, yes we could do that but we didn’t have the time. The time to develop the technology should be measured in months and years, and the choreography and narrative needs a separate block of months just for itself. Two weeks is a painfully small allotment.

what am i doing?

A friend whom I hadn’t seen for ages – another dancer of course – was offering to teach me some of the more terror-inducing throw-yourself-at-the-floor stuff, and I said, “I’ll probably break, I’m too unco for that”, she replied, “All good dancers are unco”. I thought so yeah, I’m unco and not a good dancer, but she continued, “It’s finding how your body moves that makes your dancing unique and that’s why all good dancers are unco, they move like themselves”. So I thought maybe it’s time to write about Adelaide.

I’m not intentionally in a non-blogging mood, just busy with the impedimenta of not just moving to a new city but doing things that have to be done when this new place will be a home for a while – find jobs, find a home … find internet. And of course this induces a tiredness wherein blogging pauses in favour of staring at a wall.

A week at Leigh Warren, remembering how to dance, and how far away the technique of this city is from Melbourne – that’s a post in itself, and one quite worth writing … sometime, and the last couple of weeks with Adam Synnott, Lisa, Alison, Kynan and who else? for Adam’s project In the bones of children that is having a showing tomorrow. And then also at ACArts, where the ballet is hard. It’s strange to do combinations and even steps that after all this time are new to me. Sometimes I wonder what I was trained in, or how much attention I paid.

I was thinking – oh this is embarrassing – back in Zürich in fact, when I had Shonach for ballet, and the amazing information she had, that I should be writing this down, you know, like a document of theory of movement. So of course I didn’t. Janet knows Shonach, so maybe it is appropriate that while she was talking of spirals in a manner that jolted me into thinking of her Zürich classes, I should begin to write.

The little finger connects to the heart, in a literal sense along a nerve. I really should study anatomy, no? So the relationship of the little finger, and thus of the positions and movement of arms is to your heart. In a Brisé, if it’s not working, it’s probably because you’re not crossing your front leg over far enough, so the underneath leg can’t get to it to beat. After all these years, suddenly a Brisé is easy.

I’m missing home. Zürich … Europe, some idea of a place I can’t really enunciate but is there. This time in Adelaide then is somewhat of a pause, to think about and to do dance. When I was in Melbourne, doing class, and the teacher would be someone I went to college with, and once I had this clear and maybe troubling thought. I’ve grown up with these people, and so to watch all these new graduates hungry to learn and then wonder sometimes whatever is being taught, is it a technique, is it just a way to warm up, is it choreography, what are the principles underlying? Then also to be watched, and so dancing is not always for yourself alone. I learn by watching, and I have become quick in working out who to watch to understand what the movement is, so if I am watched, what am I showing, what is someone learning from me?

Adelaide then I suppose for now is a pause. It’s been a few years since I graduated, and I would like to be dancing in another fifteen years, but unless I have some time now to think about it, to just concentrate on … not the vulgar ‘improving my technique” thing, but really finding out how I move, it’ll just be more of the same. Anyway, so dancing is fun, it keeps me sane, Adelaide is somehow good for me, and it’s nice to be amongst friends.


crush – late arriving photos

Certain craziness afoot in my world at the moment that I will neglect to elaborate on now, beyond suggesting airports are involved. Naturally that this post is about Crush … I’ll leave you to fanciful guessing, no?

Amanda emailed me a couple of days ago, saying, “You know I do not blog …” nonetheless, here are a bunch of photos from the performance taken by Rhian Daniels. Being self-centred, I’ve just stuck up the ones from my 27 minutes of cultural rape, but once I get some time to myself (that is to say have nothing to do but blog) I’ll post some more because they are quite beautiful as you can see on Amanda’s blog.


crush – some time later

All over the place, disappointment in me for not blogging every day about crush like I have done with every performance and rehearsal since SiWiC last year. I think part of it was the lack of clarity for me in what I was doing, that didn’t iron itself out until mid- the second week, or about 3/4 of the way through the rehearsal period. Then I was worried about the deal of having to make half of a forty to fifty minute work in three hours a day, so over-compensated and churned out 29 minutes of self-indulgent, sex, drugs, death metal, strangling and five minutes of proper dance.

I did say I’d subsequently write about it, so this is maybe some notes from the distance of a week (and a mere hour after an hilarious parallel reality audition at Oz Opera). When I was in Zürich, two things forced me into new territory. The first was simply having exhausted my tricks, the things I know I can do, the wide variety of methods for generating scenes, be it recreating parts of films, or even using various computer or other tools to make straight dance. The second coming for this pressure of exhaustion, was the endless demand to make things from widely divergent tasks, sometimes in fifteen minutes, every fifteen minutes for a couple of hours. No experimentation, just something finished, now.

Out of that came the germ of something I’ve been plotting since, I kind of autobiography, a solo that has several dancers. The trick is in recreating what was violently fresh and also personally very confronting, embarrassing, and a bit upsetting, I was also doing exactly what it was not; relying on my tricks, doing what I know.

Again though, the heart of the work was a couple of hours on a Saturday when I had the dancers give me a couple or several tasks, objects, things (photos, songs, a poem, a jar of pickles), something about love and grief, an to make something of it, this rather obvious conglomeration of meaningless things in fifteen minutes. It’s more that the pressure and the response germinated something new that made sense with what came from Zürich, and in that made the piece coherent.

Some of this past weekend, I spent buffing the sound on the video of my 29 minutes of crush, and while not watching it as either audience, or in its entirety, there is a particular flow or progression wherein I can imagine how it could be. And I really don’t want to sound more conceited than I already do, but it was eerie to see Wittgenstein resurface yet again, as though I am in a long eccentric orbit around Ludwig.

Here then are some photos from the theatre taken by the beautiful 郭芳伶 Guo Fangling, from TNUA in Taipei, who came over for one mad week and is a transcendental dancer.