Re-Imagine the World

July 6, 2012 § 7 Comments

I grew up in the church.

This won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who knows me well – and for this reason I am still surprised when conversations grind to a halt when new acquaintances start asking me about my life and I answer them honestly.

Each new person that I come into contact with has a hand in my evolution, and I try very hard to work as a positive force in theirs. Sometimes it is the briefest of encounters that can change things. A friendly glance, a lingering hand, a five minute conversation, an hour in the back corner of a dimly lit bar.

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On genre, form and style

September 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I have decided to start writing again. This decision has been precipitated by the fact that I am preparing a research proposal at the moment, and there is such a huge amount of writing associated with this task that may just waste away in the rabbit warren of email conversations and notebooks that I seem to accumulate. Some of the critical feedback I have been receiving from my supervisor, as well as my close friends and colleagues has resulted in quite a few lengthy rants on many different topics. Some of which I will unleash on the small number of people that read this blog.

So here goes.

This first article is an extension of a discussion that Nathan and I sometimes have about weather or not butoh can be seen as a form, or a style. This is also a conversation I have had with others, and for now, I think I can pretty fairly articulate my position.

NATHAN: I know this is an age-old conflict – but can you explain to me why you consider butoh a form and not a style?

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Questions… (Why have you done this?)

August 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

My previous post adressed the primary question posed to me by those who experience my work.  This question being:

“What does it mean?”

Having aswered that, the second question, almost invariably is:

“What is it, and why have you done it?”

(And no, I couldn’t possibly have lifted this response from an application to a certain funding body that is due tomorrow.)

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Things that went wrong today:

May 29, 2009 § 1 Comment

This is the day before our performance of the Modern Dance Festival Showcase is scheduled to open.

I had to stay up till 2am to hang out my washing, because I do not know how to make the cycle less than 90 minutes.

Consequently, I overslept.

I was not organised or motivated enough to get ready to leave for rehearsal on time.

Due to the excessive amount of pork consumed last night, when I did decide to leave, I had an unexpected bout of diarrhoea, which further delayed my departure.

I realised that I had no money (due to the expensive dinner of pork), but decided that, rather than get it out on the way to the subway station, I would get it out at Gyeongbokgung station before I transferred to a bus to get ot the space.

I ate half a packet of digestive biscuits on the subway for breakfast.

The train did not stop at Gyeongbokgung.  As I am not as fluent in Korean as I would like, and I generally ignore PA announcements, I did not realise that the city centre was in lock down due to the Korean ex-president’s funeral.

I got off at the next available stop, and had no idea where I was.  I had to walk for almost 1 kilometre down the road till I came to a Family Mart that had an international ATM.

I then got a taxi to the space, and by this time was already 45 minutes late.

There were literally thousands of policemen in the city.  I counted 50 buses up one side of the street, and there were at least 10 streets the same.  But when I say policmen, I really mean young boys.  Who look 17 but are really at least 21.  Looking pretty in their unifroms, but not at all menacing.

I finally made it.

Everything was going fine until we came to rehearse with the metal scaffold that had hand-wired lights attached to it.

When the directors tried to fix the lights (which were sparking) with scizzors, I decided that I had had enough, and would stand in a dark corner until it was over.

They made me climb the scaffold, even though I am sure my travel insurance does not cover it.

We have been here for 8 hours, and done about 2.5 hours worth of work.



I accepted a lift home with the very good Korean Dancing Boys.  But it took longer than the subway.

And I had bad, bad packet pasta to wich I added bad, bad ‘Californian’ olives from a tin that tasted like bunya nuts. No joke.

I don’t want it to seem like all I do is complain, or that I hate my job, or that I am not enjoying myself.

But being a ‘professional gypsy’ can be hard.

One Month In…

May 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

So, I have missed out on a ‘One Month In’ post by one day, but it only just occurred to me to write one.  I won’t recap. If you’re interested, you can read for yourself.

But these are the things that are on my mind:

I have slowly been working through the essay I am writing on my own Butoh practice.  I just dug out the book I brought with me about Sun Mu (Zen Dance) practice (this reveiw of the author’s work sounds amazing).  I actually stole the book from the communal bookshelf in Oldfield Castle when I lived here two years ago and lugged it back to Oz.  I cracked it open a couple of times last year when we were first talking about how we would approach Sketches Of Blood.  It includes some interesting concepts that I want to incorporate into the way I feel about dance.  I am also very interested in picking up a few more Salpuri classes, because it is such a beautiful form…

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First Pansori Lesson

May 23, 2009 § 3 Comments

I am very excited.

I had my first Pansori class today with Oh Min Ah, of the National Changgeuk Theater Of Korea.  I met her for the first time this morning at The National Theatre on the slopes of green Namsan Mountain.  She is probably one of the most adorable Korean women I have met. And I have met quite a few adorable Korean women.

We have quite an interesting language barrier.  I think her English skills match my Korean ones.  With maybe one or two points in my favour, so very basic communication is possible, but we did struggle a little.  Not in the actual teaching, but in the small issues, like how much I was to pay her, when we would meet, what exactly I was doing in Korea.  That sort of thing.  Long periods on the electronic dictionary did help.  And we got by.

The words ‘Highway Robbery’ came up when we were discussing her fee.  I think the gist of it is that Pansori teachers can be very expensive, but she does not want to charge me any where near the full price, and even the money I have to give her (thanks to the Australia-Korea Foundation) she thinks is too much.  But we have organised 16 lessons over the next three months (she will be out of town for a month doing a show in Ansan) so everything worked out in the end…

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August 20, 2007 § 1 Comment

It’s been 20 days since my last post, and it is 20 days until I leave this country for that of my birth.

I am pretty bad at this game, but, as always, I will endeavour to do better.

On another topic, why does Firefox hate my Australian spelling lifestyle?

I have 6 more performances of The Little Dragon to undertake.

I also have 3 more weeks left of my sojourn in this country, but my Gym membership finished last week…. What shall I do?

I haven’t saved as much money as I had hoped this last year. A measley 30% of my earnings. But I have lots of things. And I went to Japan. I have put my remaining money somewhere safe.

In my dad’s bank account.

Also, the Sacred Cat, Ariel was unfortunately euthanised last Thursday. There is a replacement on order though.

I am emphatic that euthanised is a valid word, but Firefox, once again lets me down.



Battle Scar

July 14, 2007 § 1 Comment

I have unfortunately acquired the most ridiculous performance-related injury known to man.

Whilst completing the violently joyous mardi gras-inspired dance break in the finale of ‘The Little Dragon’, I happened to connect my left thumbnail with the underside of my left eyebrow (the bit NOT covered in hair).

The pain indicated that there was something wrong almost immediately, but it wasn’t until blood started to obscure my vision several steps later, that I relised that I had caused an injury to myself. I completed the latter half of the routine, including an exremely fast puppet acquision and the first curtaincall , huddled behind my dragonfly, blood slowly trickling down my face and mingling with the copious sweat to find its way to the corner of my mouth.

 I raced off stage to the dressing room, where I mopped up most of the blood, and had a plaster applied to my face, all the while trying to convince the Korean office staff that I had NOT fended off attack from a ninja hoard whilst defending the honour of our lead actress, but had merely misjudged the ferocity of my own thumbnail. When this became clear, the male stagehands dissolved into laughter, and I ran back on stage in shame, to perform the last workshop number and final curtaincall.  Which proved rather difficult as the plaster seriously limited the movement of my upper eyelid, and resulted in an awkward squinting motion being imposed on my naturally expressive face (probably for the better, lets be honest).

So committed was I to maiming myself, that I not only have an ugly looking gash on my eyelid, but a bruised graze running from it, through my eyebrow and onto my expansive forehead.

I guess it’s all part of growing up and being Australian.


Notre Dame de Paris

November 26, 2006 § Leave a comment

I am sitting in our rehearsal space, in the middle of applying my daily make-up, and watching a copy of Notre Dame de Paris.

I have decided that it is the most amazing musical in existence, and it shall be my life’s work to construct a performance of such profound and breathtaking proportions.

Points to consider:

Contemporary Dance Troupe (in and out of hessian sacks)
Rock Climbers
Trapeze artists contained within massive church bells
Random set pieces flown in, with various actors strapped on, and singing
Butoh-inspired main character

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