Deakin University Theatre, 2012
On the surface, no identifiable difference but in our daily lives the gap is exposed. It is not a reflection on disability/ability but on how any two worlds separated by a language barrier, experience and ways of living come together. In the merging of two cultures, we explore the effects of when two worlds collide.
What are the consequences/ripple effects? What relationships form? What emotions emerge? How we move together to find the balance, the common ground, from where we all stand.
Presented by Arts Access Victoria and Deakin University
Choreographers: Jo Dunbar and Jodie Farrugia
Performers: Sophie Darling, Karina Gaal, Nakarin Jaikla, Fiona Koski, Elvin Lam, Sophie Li, Bethany Robinson, Anna Seymour.
Sound design: Josh Mitchell
Light and Sound Design: Nicola Andrews
Visual Artist: Pippa Dodds
The original intention of the project was to bring a group of deaf and hearing dancers together, to explore what happens in the space when confronted by the language barriers, and to play with how we overcome them in a dance process. As the work progressed, we decided to make it more relative to the rest of the world, rather than just about disability/ability it became more about different cultures/ beings occupying the same space, the conflicts and reactions that arise, the attractions and repulsions/hesitations of meeting someone for the first time. Language transmits information, whether spoken, signed or non-verbal communication, such as watching the space.
In creating a series of duets and group pieces, I wanted to show the personal stories of the dancers involved, as they collided with the worlds around them and within them, which they so generously shared in the development process. In working with Jodie, who has been an inspiration to me, we found common threads that we could link together, whilst each giving the other the creative freedom to explore and create the pieces in our respective styles.
I’m continuously learning as a choreographer, an artist, a teacher and a human being by being in this. In relating to each and every-one of us in different ways, in watching the spaces within us and around us as they become charged with the nature of this choreographic process I find myself continously humbled by these beings and their very essences, and as I watch the work embody this, it's a pleasure and a pain at the same time. A pain because it is raw and comes from a deep place, where brutal honesty is asked to the table, but pleasure because of the support and the beauty that comes from us in this.
I thank the dancers and Jodie, Nicola and Josh for the generosity of their spirits to embark on this journey with me. And just as importantly heartfelt thanks go to the teams at Arts Access Victoria and Deakin University for their support in making this dream a reality.
The process of making this work has been a wonderful experience, full of creative inspiration and wonderful challenges. We have approached this work by Jo and I working on separate choreographic sections and have collaborated on how to bring our work together to make a full-length work. I have enjoyed the challenge of making work that can be accessible to both hearing and deaf audiences, this has been a very unique project in that way, and I feel I have learnt a lot about my own practice in the attempt to reach our audience. I have worked very closely with the dancers, setting choreographic and theatre exercises to generate some of the material you will see tonight.
I have choreographically approached the concept of “Collisions” in two different ways.
A series of duets that explore collisions in communication, what happens to us when we are faced with emotional conversational and energetic collisions when we want to communicate with someone? How do we collide with someone in an exchange of thoughts, opinions and emotions? How do we hold onto our truth when we are faced with an opposing thought?
The second concept I have explored is the final group piece This piece looks at the fear we have in creating real emotional connections with each other. So much of life is spent being closed to the possibility of honestly connecting with those around us. What is it that we fear? Can we be brave enough to give into these collisions and humble enough to let them go?
© The Delta Project