Forseen

Forseen

Choreographers Narelle Benjamin and Frances Rings have combined forces to remount their delicate, evocative works as a double bill.

Along with film-maker Samuel James, Narelle Benjamin has used Magritte's painting The Tomb of the Wrestler as the projected film element for The Dark Room. In the work, the rose becomes the symbol of life itself, or perhaps the memory of life? In the photographic dark room, it is the memory of someone that is brought back to life. A dream, like a photo, can restore someone in our mind's eye. As the light of dawn begins, their image fades.

The Rose is perfumed air but it is also cruelty. Magritte

We perceive the rose's faint perfume by means of a heart-rendering memory. Paul Nouge

The Dark Room was created for the Australian Ballet's 2007 Bodytorque season as part of Narelle Benjamin's Hepzibah Tintner Fellowship. Through its Bodytorque program the Australian Ballet invites independent artists to create new works on the company alongside its resident choreographers.

Debris is inspired by middens- the ancient mounds of debris that tell us of human activity. Enter a subterranean landscape weathered by seasons and nurtured by time where the debris of the past comes to life to relive habits and rituals. Beneath our feet lie the echoes of gatherings that tell a story of occupation, evidence that we existed - we were once here.

Debris was choreographed for the West Australian Ballet for their 2007 Quarry season as part of the Perth International Arts Festival. In this work Frances Rings explores the idea of modern day middens and how we take responsibility for what we leave behind. She considers middens as a universal theme relating to all people and their connection with ancestral roots. Other inspiration came from ideas of excavating, unearthing and layering - as well as the question of possessions and what we regard as valuable.

Narelle and Frances have a history of working together both as performers and choreographers, most recently presenting a double bill (INTO) at the 2008 Sydney Festival's hugely successful contemporary dance program, About an Hour. Their choreography has a similar quality in that an unseen force drives it. Although they spring from different places their work has a timeless quality that is a union of the physical and spiritual, embracing the minute details of the human form that is easily overlooked in the trend of athletic contemporary dance.

Both choreographers are inspired by ancient philosophies - movement begins as organic gestures that build to create a sensory experience where the body is no longer human but the embodiment of the natural world. Yoga has been an inspiration in Narelle's life both as a practice and informing the movement quality of her choreography. Driven by the breath it is the connection of the mind and body that stimulates the physical intention. This ideology of working inside out is one that Frances is also very familiar with and stems from her Indigenous background. Taking her inspiration from a rich cultural heritage her style is derived from ancient beliefs and customs embracing a contemporary expression through its fusion of the old and new.

World premiere of Debris, WA Ballet at The Quarry for the Perth Festival, Febuary 2007
World premiere of The Dark Room, The Australian Ballet Bodytorque, Sydney Theatre, 2007
FORSEEN, Parramatta Riverside Theatres presented by FORM dance Projects as part of Dance bites 2011.

ChoreographyNarelle Benjamin and Frances Rings
Music Huey Benjamin, Philip Glass, Peter Sculthorpe, The Necks
PerformersEric Avery, Jana Castillo, Benjamin Hancock, Chrissy Norford, Katina Olsen, Paul White
FilmSamuel James
Lighting DesignKaren Norris
Costume/PropsIndia Flint
Production ManagerNeil Fisher
ProducerRosalind Richards Artful Management
The remount and presentation of Forseen was funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the NSW government through Arts NSW and supported by Western Sydney Dance Action and Bangarra Dance Theatre.
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