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Conceived by Writings on Dance and developed in partnership with MUMA | Monash University Museum of Art

Dance Remains is a year-long program of monthly events that introduces relatively little known currents of dance modernism and its history to dance, visual arts and broader audiences. The program draws on the current and ongoing work of local dance, movement and performance practitioners and experts, and will examine and reveal the kinds of documents or forms of memory that constitute the archive of dance history, both nationally and internationally.

Dance Remains is conceived at a time when dancers are seeking more knowledge of their own history and artists in general are seeking a deeper engagement as they work across disciplinary boundaries. Through a range of formats, including lectures, demonstrations, panels and performances, the series seeks to promote recognition and interpretations of the dancing past in order to discover what it might offer to dance and culture more broadly, today and in the future.

Single session subscriptions now available
Waged: $15
Unwaged/students: $10
For payment please visit MUMA Shop

Monash University Museum of Art
Ground Floor, Building F
Monash University
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East
Tel 9905 4217

Program Outline

21 March 6.30-8pm
Dance Remains: Re-considering the Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia

Published in 2003, the Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia, a major reference work of 735 pages, is now nearly 15 years old. Join its co-editors Aline-Scott-Maxwell and John Whiteoak, and Writings on Dance founders, Sally Gardner and Elizabeth Dempster, for a roundtable discussion as they reflect back on the book’s significance, how it came to be and what perspectives it provides on the Australian dance field then and now?

11 April 6.30-8pm
‘a day like any other’: Russell Dumas and Dance Exchange

In his current performance project, ‘a day like any other’, Australian choreographer Russell Dumas continues to critically examine the embodied access he has had to modern dance history over he last 50 years. As a choreographer committed to kinaesthetic communication, Dumas has recently come to engage with the world of digital recording devices. Witness the intersections of live movement and its mediation as several dancers perform ‘a day like any other based on material learned from Dumas dance film, 321, which was screened on the SBS television program ‘Eat Carpet’ in the 1990s.

16 May 6.30-8pm
No Fixed Address

Speakers: Christine Babinskas, Rebecca Hilton, Trevor Patrick, Sela Kiek, Deanne Butterworth
Part slideshow, part performance, part provocation, this evening’s program involves several choreographers who will each explore evidence of dance’s constant relocation throughout the twentieth century. As a late-comer to the arts, modern dance never found a natural home within conventional art and performance venues, instead choosing to move nimbly between and across existing frames. This event explores relationships between historical works and their locations and will be moderated by live performance artist, Ben Cittadini.

20 June 6.30-8pm
Make the Right Leg the Strong One: Exercises from Genevieve Stebbins’ Delsarte System of Expression

Modern dance in North America is sometimes claimed to have emerged from American Delsartism. This combination of performance techniques, acting theories, exercises and models of embodiment was imported by theatrical impresario Steele MacKaye after studying with Francois Delsarte in Paris in 1869. Genevieve Stebbins, MacKaye’s student and an important exponent of Delsarte, later published instructional manuals that offer important insights into the contemporary field of scientifically-marginal theories of the body, and body and elocutionary practices (undertaken especially by middle-class women). This workshop by dancer, Kate Kennedy, (PhD candidate, Deakin University) will involve practical experimentations with a number of exercises from Stebbins Delsarte's System of Expression (1885). These exercises act as a kind of microscope, making tangible the apparently infinite resources of change contained within everyday postures andtheir potential adjustments.
All are welcome to participate.

25 July 6.30-8pm
After Twyla Tharp and Trisha Brown

Linda Sastradipradja and Stuart Shugg are graduates of the VCA who chose to move to New York to pursue their dance interests. In doing so, both gained direct access to an internationally significant dance community and the physical and compositional concerns of major New York based dance artists. In Sastradipradja’s case this included working with Sara Rudner, who contributed to the formative development of Twyla Tharp, and for Shugg performing with Trisha Brown who has now retired from practice. Join Sastradipradja and Shugg as they reflect on their personal journeys through space and time with performances and discussion that share how they are currently forging and reflecting upon their dance identities and values.

15 August 6.30-8pm
Declaring War on Dance

Aboriginal Australian cultures are arguably the most performance-based in the world, with explicit choreographed performances being used for a vast range of social and cultural purposes. While often dismissed as lightweight cultural entertainment when performed for white audiences, Aboriginal people have utilised these performance opportunities to actively fight for sovereignty – physical, psychological and emotional – since the nineteenth century. Join Maryrose Casey (Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies Centre at Monash University) as she discusses the political power of these performances along with the unexpected yet multiple ways in which white audiences have attempted to intrude, interrupt and inhabit them. Concluding with the recent public outcry around Adam Goodes’s dance during a 2015 AFL football match, Casey will explore the dynamics at play between Aboriginal performers and white audiences as a form of undeclared war by other means.

19 September 6.30-8pm
Remembering Through Touch: The Legacy of Mabel Todd and the Modern Dance

The name of Mabel Todd, author of The Thinking Body (1937), is associated with a long lineage of ‘ideokinetic’ practices and practitioners whose archival methods are based in tactility. This conversation between Elizabeth Dempster (Writings on Dance) and Jane Refshauge (Alexander Technique teacher and therapist) considers the influence of Todd’s work on modern and postmodern dance, asking not only how and where its influence has been felt but also why it is dance that has kept this lineage alive.

17 October 6.30-8pm
Re-visiting a Dance and Music Connection: Noa Eshkol, Notation and the Idea of a Chamber Dance

This short performance and lecture explores the work of Noa Eshkol (1924-2007), an Israeli artist influenced by musical composition and culture who developed a notation system on which she based her dance practice. Join Deakin dance academic Sally Gardner as she considers how including Eshkol’s approach within the broader field of twentieth century dance modernism can bring important nuance to contemporary considerations of the choreographer, the dancer and the audience.

21 November 6.30-8pm
Dance And/In the Gallery

Recent curatorial approaches and associated discourses have placed dance and choreography within visual art paradigms, including the gallery. In this conversation between University of NSW dance academic Erin Brannigan and Australia Council 2016 Dance Fellow Brooke Stamp, the foundational elements of dance as a discipline are brought into dialogue with these recent cross disciplinary re-framings.

View Dance Remains Program PDF

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