Fest — 5

We moved on Monday to the Ring, into the late-19th century Italian Renaissance Burgtheater Kasino am Schwarzenburgplatz, bringing our total rehearsal space experiences to a total of four, and where we’ll remain for most of the coming weeks. All this moving combined with my bike has let me see a little more of Vienna than I normally do, and perhaps now, applying my usual ‘head in general direction and take streets at random’ biking method, I’m starting to get a sense for patches of the city.

ImPulsTanz started on Monday evening also, performances begin tomorrow night, and the DanceWEBers I saw toiling down Burggasse on Sunday on the pink and blue bikes, looking like a slightly nervous family of ducklings. Ivo is their coach this year, and from now rehearsal times get shuffled across the day.

Rehearsals, then. A slow-ish run of the three scenes yesterday left us with almost two hours of scenes and much incredulity, cries of, “No! It can’t be!” and “But we stopped and the first two scenes were slow…” but yes, it is, and even forgetting the stopping and speeding things up we’ve still somehow shoved together over 90 minutes of things in the last three weeks – and that’s not even mentioning everything that got thrown out or is mouldering in the archives.

To go along with that, we seem to have fallen over the ending, one not requiring an Act IV, nor an introduction of a fifth protagonist (both good things to avoid), and one that as of yesterday evening could even be called beautiful – all depending on how making other necessary changes to the first two Acts affects what comes after. If the entire script doesn’t get rewritten, there’s still masses of stitching together, pulling tight, packing down, binding, lashing and otherwise making secure the vast pile of words, but we have seven proper rehearsals left before Ivo flips into X-on mode, and after that a week before opening; plenty of time to fit in some last minute serious doubts, panicking, unforeseen crises and other useful, performance-enhancing stuff.

And for lunch, we have possibly the best rehearsal balcony I’ve ever sat on, certainly the best I can currently remember, running half the length of the façade above the Schubertring overlooking Schwarzenbergplatz and Straße, Kärntner Ring and all things generally Viennese.

Fest — 4

Another week gone. That makes three. We spent this week in Volks Oper Wien studios, where I rehearsed with Hans for Settlement in 2008 on the same street as the hostel Ivo and I along with all of DanceWEB stayed in, in 2003. Tomorrow we move to Kasino Theater for a week or so. Rehearsals are going well, by which I mean steadily; every day we make progress, and there has been none of those airless days where it feels the work is a vast, empty husk. Progress towards what, I’m unsure; there’s enough made of Fest, and enough ideas for it to become many different works. Sometimes in trying things it loops back on itself and spits itself out into a previous line or scene, sometimes repeatedly until we get slightly lost. Other times old ideas that came and went within the space of a single rehearsal, quick enough to have been written into and erased from the script, get remembered and resurrected – or remembered and discarded.

There’s three scenes now, the first is the shortest and for the moment the most certain, it hasn’t changed much in the last days (we’ve also been working mostly on the third this last week) except for some detailing, blocking and choreographing, working on the delivery. The second is still in flux. It also hasn’t changed so much in the last week, though there have been some large cuts of bits and pieces, rearranging of things, and it feels like for both scenes there’s more of this coming up.

The third scene though, that’s where all this looping and concentrating on things has been going on. I can’t really say if any of this is what Ivo wants or imagined it would look like or if any even will remain. Perhaps we’ll get to the last week and in a frenzy he’ll rewrite it into something we’ll all agree was inevitable to happen in what we’re working on now and assuming will remain to be performed, and the rewrite is in fact the work it always had to be. For what’s there now though, some stuff I thought was pretty good turned up late yesterday (I occasionally clap at things when I think they’re convincing). There’s still some explaining to do, in order to get to that stuff – if it even remains tomorrow – and how and what that explaining is will determine how what happens subsequently is interpreted.

Yes, still being somewhat vague and ambiguous. Perhaps some photos in the coming days …

goat snake witch dance theatre blackness

The last couple of days I’ve been working on a side-project, cleaning up my dance/performance/choreography website, I decided a while ago I wanted to move it into WordPress, change the font to Anonymous Pro, and try and make everything I would do by hand-coding possible through the WordPress browser editor.

Success! (Mostly). The design hasn’t changed, except it’s been cleaned up a bit, and a more structured layout used. The video took the longest and was a rather intense learning process, which is going to fall over into some other projects I’m working on at the moment. The words I edited a bit, but mostly left alone. Some time I’ll clean that up also.

As for ‘goat snake witch dance theatre blackness’, I couldn’t decide which word I liked the least and somehow they all sit together quite nicely, like an excess of baroque.


lainzer tiergarten

I took off away from the city yesterday, as I’d been planning since before I arrived, remembering wandering in the hills around Vienna during DanceWEB and needing some noise of forests and trees. Much looking on maps and planning where to go took me along the U4 from Stadtpark to Lainzer Tiergarten, the 500 year old hunting ground of the Ferdinand I.

First walking from Nikolaitor upwards until arriving at Wiener Blick, much like Waterfall Gully, but Eucalyptus replaced by Walnut, Ash, Plane, Furs and others, not a few close to the age of the park itself. Then I got a bit lost. Somehow I’d decided I’d started from Lainzer Tor and had the idea I’d walk to Rohrhaus then circle back around via Hubertuswarte. Instead, finding myself approaching the end far too early, I discovered I’d in fact begun from Nikolaitor and was now at … Lainzer Tor. Lucky my idea of a good time is 5 hours by foot.

Considering it’s only been the last couple of weeks my hip and knee have calmed down (thanks to a rather good physio in Wedding) enough to cycle, yoga, and walk for hours after months of annoyance, a gentle walk of this long in rolling hills was enough to make me moan with pleasure at aching hips and legs. I really want to be enjoying days on my own in the mountains again, and soon.

Returning via St. Veiter Tor, I saw first a wild boar cross my path, silhouetted by a gash in the forest at the apex of a small rise. We were both as shocked as each other and tottered off with a bit of a gallop. Later, a pair of Fallow Deer, much less interested in humans than the ones behind the fence near Hermesvilla.


Not so much an open secret as something I haven’t got around to writing about here, I depart tomorrow for a journey around central Europe for the next few weeks.

First, to my second home in Brussels, to see Gala, Hans and others, and for Dasniya’s Yoga + Bondage workshop in Charleroi Danses. Then back to Berlin for a week, and then on to Vienna.

Vienna again. It will be my third time at ImPulsTanz, the first where I was a DanceWEB-er(in), and heard/saw/met Hans for the first time, the second, in 2008, fresh off the plane from Adelaide (after a week in Berlin), to work with him in Settlement, and this time to work with him once more, in Café Prückel.

Yes, rather thrilled about it all, summer across the three cities I have a strong attachment to, performing, making new things with friends, friends themselves…


von wien westbahnhof nach zürich hbf

Some books I read small pieces of in my room in Vienna. Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others, a couple of books on Central Asia, several Dykes to Watch Out For comics, one Small Favours(?) comic, German lesbian sex-porn… and the first three or so chapters of Stone Butch Blues. Each time I have read some of this, (and would dearly love to own it) I can never get through the first chapter, her unsent letter without crying. As for the subsequent chapters, oh this book is harrowing for me, knowing somehow those who populate the pages, finding myself in some of them, seeing who I desire in others…

I’ve had some post-show blues, though met with equal amounts of excitement at my impending return to Zürich. I write this on the train, we are just leaving Linz HBF. I miss the rhythm of being with a group, each day the rehearsals and the familiarity of it all. I’m first greeted by much tiredness and oh, like something departing from me. And this is all mental and emotional though. What I think is most difficult is feeling the performance and weeks leave my body. Or rather, it is not so passive. My body covers up these weeks, most obviously healing torn skin and bruises, less visible but no less real is the diminishment of how the inside feels from these weeks. My ankles no longer so fragile, shoulders, back, all this gradually dissipating. This is the hardest thing, to feel all this depart.

Zürich… later this week Freiburg to see my beautiful Daniel and Paea. I feel a impelling need to get back to Berlin and commence.


von berlin hbf nach wien sued

Early rising, 9 hours from Berlin to Vienna, through Czechoslovakia, I’ve never been there before. Now I’ve seen several train stations. The annoyance of a very rushed and disorganised embarking including my seat being on the other side of a locked door was made bearable firstly with much of a six-seat cabin to myself, and later in Prague when the train filled with uptight tourists, by a swift promotion to first class.

My last full day was spent wandering an exhibition which I intend to blog properly some time soon, when proper internet has been attained, and a remark to me on my lamenting my camera phone, that this camera was better than none, and so sitting on the train I realised how its limitations, no zoom, rather slow capture speed, poor exposure qualities (good macro though) makes for a mimimalism that is quite enjoyable (like coding in css and html haha).

I am in Vienna again. Warm, humid, summer, certainly to be wearing skirts and a need for sandals (and the ever-present picking inside my thoughts, “you can’t go back, you have to make this work somehow, here, Berlin, this is where you have to stay”), and tomorrow I guess, to start with Hans. I am found at the train station by Jana, moments after discovering my phone does not work here (oh Berlin I miss you in so many ways), and then a car journey to the 14th district where we are staying in an old apartment house, the king once en promenade outside on his horse, the owner remembering her grandmother’s mother telling such stories, some eating and talking, sleep, then a long breakfast into the afternoon in the garden, fresh bread, cheese, coffee from the Turkish store, learning some words in Croatian and German…



I’m going to Vienna.


I got an email this afternoon saying I’ve been accepted for the Choreographers’ Venture with Hans van den Broeck. He was a quite memorable influence on me last time I was at DanceWEB, oh years ago now… and I didn’t even do his workshop. I should have. I just got rather drunk in a park with him and a score of others who were doing things with him and thinking, “Crap, I should be doing this…” Now I will be.

I suppose now is also a good time to make the announcement that many of you know already, I’m flying to Germany on July 3rd, first to Berlin, where I have hopes of dance and dark cabarets filled with demimondes and bois, then to Vienna, and afterwards a return briefly to Zürich.

And then to see this delightful pirate whom I miss very much.


I used to be fairly prompt in getting enthusiastic here about new blogs, adding them to the spiraling list to the right, mentioning them in some post or another, and like everything, tardiness is the order of now.

So …

Monica Gillette is at DanceWEB. She blogs at DanceMinute. Even better, she blogs video of dance. She says: “Danceminute is a dance video playground. I shoot the dance world around me and post the video. The only rule is that it has to be under a minute. Easy for you, easy for me. Go ahead and take a look…”

In a moment of self-referentiality, both her and Gala, blogging at get a mention on the front page of DanceWEB, and then you can see Gala dancing in one of Monica’s videos.


It was only three years ago but seems … one of those entanglings with a person that are outside of time, so we didn’t see each other for much of the next eighteen months and then the next, it seems we were always around or that two months shifted out of our geographical closeness is not so far from the first one and a half years in immensity. On occasion, she remarked in a semi-joking way I’d been her mentor, and that might be a daunting thing for me and my irresponsibility were the contra not also true. After-all, I’m here in Adelaide because she decided the best way to expedite my departure from Melbourne was to make sure I got on the plane.

Of course I’m talking about beautiful and talented dancer and choreographer and very dear friend Gala Moody, who has been in all of my performances since 2004 and I’ve even had fun being in a couple of hers, who has been one of those people who is so rare in life.

Gala is on a two month crazy sojourn across Europe, from Madrid and Michael Carter to Zürich and Cornelia and SiWiC (and the Limmat and … oh so homesick thinking of …) and to Athens and horribleness of taxi drivers and transcendentalness of The Forsythe Company and on …


I wasn’t blogging when I went to DanceWEB in 2003, though used my camera until it was worn. Of all my adventures in dancing that started only because I saw Frankfurt Ballet perform so long ago, Vienna and the ImPulsTanz Festival is one of the dwellers in the stratosphere, for the dance, for the performances, for the life of being a European dancer in summer and endless days and nights and moments of revelation like when I saw Jan Fabre, moments that again changed my life. To know you are in the right place, and all this is important, from eating in the kitchen to gigantic spectacles of theatre.

Gala goes to DanceWEB. Gala blogs at (And takes photos).