With a string of sell out, critically acclaimed performances worldwide, Loch na hEala returned to Dublin where Elizabeth joined them for the six shows. There were standing ovations and full houses throughout.
It is always special to perform this work in Ireland where so much of the subtlety in it is rooted. Audiences immediately respond to the Irish nuances and the mystique of the folk lore.
Mirramu Creative Arts Centre partnered with Critical Path to host two creative choreographic workshops in October and November.
The first afforded the opportunity for Indigenous choreographers Carly Sheppard, Eric Avery, Katie Lesley, Joel Bray, Taree Sansbury and Jessica Corse (assistant producer) to spend a week exploring their own practice – without the restraint of having to produce a performance work. This was a time of meditative self-discovery and the artists spent time writing and contemplating about their practice and goals.
The second involved the visit of Taiwanese choreographer, dancer and new media artist Su WenChi with Adelina Larsson, Swedish/Australian choreographer, performer, educator, curator and producer and the founder and artistic director of Strange Attractor. This was a time for the artists to be immersed in nature and to reflect upon their performance practice.
Sharings were held on 3 October and 6 November 2018 respectively with guests including representatives of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Organisation, a Board member of bighART. dancers and local arts practitioners, media and advocates.
Mirramu thanks elder Shane Mortimer for welcoming both groups of artists to country and spending time talking about the Weereewa and surrounding land and heritage.
Funding support is gratefully acknowledged for these residencies from the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, Blakdance, Creative Victoria, Performing Lines, Performance Space and the Taiwanese government through its arts foundation.
Elizabeth has been involved with the Tsai Jui Yueh Foundation for more than 10 years. This year she was commissioned to make a work on the theme of the global refugee crisis for their 13th festival. Flight for Life – Destroyed was the result, a work dedicated to the refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island and around the world.
There were ten dancers from the Grace Shiau Dance Theatre in this production along with Australian performers Vivienne Rogis and Kenneth Spiteri from Mirramu Dance Company.
Five performances were presented in the TJY International Dance Festival with audiences visibly moved by the issues raised and the work itself. Sensitive and strong performances by all of the dancers created a memorable and significant dance theatre work.
Led by actor, theatre maker and dance dramaturgy Kenneth Spiteri, this workshop is for choreographers, dancers, actors and theatre makers who are interested in exploring different facets of ‘dramaturgy’ in the creation of new physical theatre and dance work.
The work will move between improvisation and discussion around the possibilities for creating meaning and ways in which a dramaturg can help facilitate the process of clarification in the creation of new works.
This work is particularly appropriate for theatre makers interested in developing their own work and who may have material that they would like to explore in a critical yet safe environment.
Spiteri says: Biographies create psychologies and the capacity to understand behaviour. Contemporary dramaturgy is founded in this understanding of storytelling. Theatre did not always function this way. It has shamanic roots, and a history of hosting the Gods. In our current performance cultures, biography is dominant and the Gods are silent. This work seeks to challenge this convention by moving the function of performance from one of biography and narrative to one of vehicle and archetype.
Participants are encouraged to bring a piece of text, song and/or choreographic phrase to explore as material in improvisations.
About Kenneth Spiteri
Kenneth has been working as an actor, dance dramaturg and theatre maker for 25 years. Born in Australia, grew up in Canberra, studied theatre with institutions in Paris (Pantheatre and L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq) and in Germany (WIW Academy).
He has lived in Berlin for the most part of the past 10 years where he has worked with legendary theatre director Peter Zadek and the internationally acclaimed company Familie Flöz. Most recently he has been in Malta working with the national theatre company Teatru Malta as a dramaturg/movement director as well as for Teatru Manoel as an actor in the lead role of the mainstage production of The Crucible.
An invitation from Andreas Dalman and Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM
to the launch of out of silence – Marcel Marceau by Jan Dalman
Published by Dalman Productions
Book Launch and conversation
National Portrait Gallery
Saturday 18 August
2pm to 3.30pm
followed by sales and signings in The Curatoreum Bookshop
Special guest presenter Shane Breynard, Director, Canberra Museum and Gallery.
In the final years of his life, Jan Dalman carefully selected what he felt were the most potent, evocative and expressive photographs he’d taken of Marceau from the wings during performances in Adelaide and Melbourne. His great wish was to have a book published to honour Marcel, who had passed away before him in 2007. out of silence – Marcel Marceau by Jan Dalman is the realisation of this dream.
On 21 April Mirramu was host to the launch of Barbie Robinson’s poetry book: That looks on tempests – thoughts on the nature of love (published 2018, For Pity Sake Publishing Sydney).
A happy crowd assembled for drinks and chat in the grounds with wonderful catering by Bernadette Johnson.
The launch contained a number of performance elements including three beautiful dances by Mandy Tutalo and a rendition of one of Barbie’s poems by composer/musician Gabriela Cabral. It was a delightful event drawing on the magic of place and enabled by a team of wonderful helpers.
By contrast with Ireland, Wellington turned on uncharacteristically balmy weather, and festival audiences very much enjoyed the four performances and a meet-the-artists forum in the beautiful old St James Theatre.
After Wellington, the Teac Damsa company moved on with performances in Luxemburg, Seoul and soon in Cologne, Germany and Longford in Ireland. Elizabeth is taking a short break from touring to work on home based projects at Mirramu.
Touring with Teac Damsa’s Loch na hEala continued with six weeks in Dublin and regional Ireland. Yet another accolade came in the form of best contemporary dance choreographer (British Dance Awards 2018). Audiences responses continued to be very positive with standing ovations everywhere.
The weather was less kind with freezing conditions and snow as the Beast from the East met a storm front from the south west causing cancellations of two performances in Mullingar and confining the cast to barracks for two days.
The famous Abbey Theatre that is steeped in history and full of theatrical spirits, was a place of deep inspiration for our two-week season there.