Pursuit

A delectable dance theatre piece exploring our pursuit of pleasure. Evocative and full of desire, yet lighthearted and comedic! Come with us on our journey...

‘Pursuit’ is an evocative dance-theatre piece, that invites the audience into a delightful exploration of the ways in which we pursue and experience pleasure.

Seven dancers draped in crimson red perform a series of vignettes that ebb and flow in and out of existence. These vignettes segue seamlessly between the temporary pleasure rush of new clothes, the memory of being a child in a playground, the visceral sensations of the sea and the unpleasant sensation of sand in places it shouldn’t be. Moreover, there’s the uncontrollable feeling of trying to hold in laughter (which leaves the audience giggling in recognition), and even the feeling of ‘busting for a wee’, where the resolution brings pure satisfaction, and is hilariously relatable.

Composer Hansen-Knarhoi effortlessly weaves soundscapes and spoken word amongst her magical compositions to highlight these pleasure driven moments.

Present day conflicts felt by women are at the heart of this work, and the piece often dips out of the comedy and into reality. Women are in constant pursuit of pleasure due to consumerist constructs that have created a particular ‘mould’ we must fit to achieve ultimate happiness. When the dancers perform the works final sequence in solidarity, heart-felt connections and sincere revelations emerge and leave the audience teary-eyed.

‘Pursuit’ will have you laughing in fits, crying at bits, but most importantly contemplating the reasons why you pursue and desire pleasure.

FORM AND STYLE

‘Pursuit’ is a simple piece in its presentation, with minimal lighting, props and stage elements. The dancers bring the bare space to life with their virtuosic movement, bright, animated and hilarious facial expressions (a key attribute to this dance theatre work), and lastly their luminescent red costumes, that can light up any space.

This work was originally presented in a hall in its first development, and then in a blackbox theatre in its second iteration. Both seasons were set up in a traverse formation, with audiences sitting along the side of the performance floor space leading up to the stage, and a traditional bank of seats opposite the stage. This setup invites audiences to become a part of the experience. It provides a sense of participation in the emotions and ideas explored as the dancers break the fourth wall.

The piece runs at 45 minutes long- just enough time for the audience to grasp all the concepts, revel in the fun, but to leave them wanting more. There are recorded soundtracks that accompany this piece and bring it to life. Elements of spoken word and poetry, live dialogue and real-time games feature throughout to keep the audiences on their toes and on the edge of their seats.

The style of the piece is presented as a series of vignettes of varying lengths. Each scene is different to the next, keeping the audience constantly entertained. This style allows for traditionally ‘non-dance’ audiences to stay engaged and intrigued throughout.

Community Engagement

We would love to offer a ‘Creative Choreography Workshop’ over a community engagement tour. This involves revisiting some of the creative tasks we undertook during our process of ‘Pursuit’ with the participants and using their personal material to create a ‘mini-work’ with the tasks visited. This could occur over a 2-3 day period, and invite friends, family and the wider community to come along to give the participants a performance opportunity. Participants targeted can be local schools, dance schools or other young artists! We can also offer more brief workshops or dance classes to local schools and/or dance schools if communities are looking for a simpler format.

We can offer a ‘child-friendly’ version of the show and present it at various school halls or theatres. ‘Pursuit’ is a very joyous, light-hearted piece, easy for young people to understand. Despite the piece being about ‘pleasure’ there are no overt references to sexual pleasure throughout the piece. There are only a few sections that would need slight adjustment to help engage better with a younger audience. We even have a whole section based around childhood, including playing ‘Whats the time Mr. Wolf’ and hide-and-seek’, which includes audience interaction which the kids could really get into!

Additionally, we can hold post-show discussions with the audience, to ask questions about our process, dance experience or just general queries about the piece.

We can also collaborate with local restaurants/cafes/bars to engage their customers to come to the theatre. We can offer discounted tickets to the customers, handing out flyers outside the restaurant, maybe even offer a snippet of the performance. We think this could be an effective engagement strategy as the piece is about ‘pleasure’ with a lot of references to food. We can tap into this aspect of the piece to engage these customers. We even have a whole section inspired by the Carlton Draught ‘Big Ad’ in the piece!

Reviews

★★★★½ “It was impressive that this show was not just a visual feast to luxuriate in, but also encouraged an active contemplation of our own experiences of pleasure. It will be enjoyed by devotees of contemporary dance but I would recommend anyone to get along with an open mind and see just where this genre can take you.” – Stuart Moore, FringeFeed

★★★★ “There’s the bubbling feeling when you’re trying to stifle laughter but it just keeps seeping and spilling through your very pores, which had the opening night audience cackling in recognition. And there’s my favourite segment, which I’ll call “Busting for a wee”. Thighs clamped, eyes desperate, the dancers stagger about the stage, to the incongruous but somehow apt “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”. The resolution is joyous and oh-so-relatable…And in this case, it’s well worth seeing. Go on, give yourself a little pleasure.” – Nina Levy, Seesaw

★★★½ “…they examine female solidarity and intimate connections. These sincere revelations leave the deepest impressions, as they draw us close to private worlds of love and precious emotions.

“Pursuit is independent choreographer Giorgia Schijf’s fifth work since 2018, and testifies to the artist’s strong commitment to Perth’s performing arts scene…Pursuit therefore stands as a fine collective achievement and evidences the resonant emerging voices that continue to break through” –  Jo Pickup, Arts Hub

Available Marketing Collaterals

We have a professional poster, a full-length video of the work, a trailer length video, professional photographs and multiple reviews from both our 2022 and 2021 seasons.

Credits

All creatives on our team, including our lighting designer and stage manager are graduates from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

All dancers are now currently working as independent artists, and collectively have worked on a multitude of professional dance shows, including: a variety of Perth Festival performances between 2020-2022 such as ‘Archives of Humanity’ by Co:3 & ‘The Ninth Wave’ by The Farm, ‘Rite and Revolution’ (2022) and ‘Petrushka (Game, Set Match)’ (2022) by Scott Elstermann, a variety of productions at The Blue Room (2019-2021) including ‘600 Seconds’, MicroMove’ and ‘900 Seconds’ and multiple award-winning Fringe Festival Productions. Multiple artists hold and teach regional workshops to local school and dance school communities on behalf of the Western Australian Ballet and Co:3.

Schijf, the choreographer/producer has choreographed and performed in a range of professional dance works including: ‘Ladies Barefoot’ (2018) at Spectrum Art Space, and multiple works as a part of ‘Summer Nights’ presented at The Blue Room Theatre. More recently, Schijf created a full-length multidisciplinary promenade work called ‘Reimagined’ (2021) presented at ‘After Dark Gallery’ sponsored by Propel Youth Arts, and in 2022 presented ‘Pursuit’ at the State Theatre Centre of WA as part of ‘State of Play’. Schijf has also taught creative workshops for KickstART Propel Youth Arts Week aswell as at Wesley College as part of their new ‘Connect’ initiative.

Availability

June 2023

Artforms

Dance, Theatre

Audience

Female/Non-Binary, 16-50 years, that value female solidarity and strength, and people that enjoy having a laugh!

Duration

45 mins

Bump In

1 hour

Bump Out

< 1 hour

Costs

Remount Cost: $9000
Weekly Fee: $11,162/week
Royalties: 5% Dramaturg, 2.5% previous Producer

Company Contacts

Giorgia Schijf
0437 236 856
giorgiaschijf@icloud.com



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Technical

Venue Format

Black Box (preference), but can work with Proscenium, Thrust or can even work in a community Hall/studio space

Touring Party

10

Considerations

Maximum performances a week: 5

Does this show require a remount? Yes

First Possible Performance: 2 hours after bump-in

Minimum Break Between Shows: 1 hour

Minimum stage dimensions: 6x6m

Staging and Set Description: No set required, only prop is a small clothing rack. Bare stage space,
preferably tarkett or wooden floor.

Lighting requirements: Base requirements: front light, some colour, ability to record cues on lighting console. To realise previous design: side light, programmable colour changing LED wash, back light, front light, the time to record about 60 cues.

Audio requirements: PA and foldback. No microphones, all prerecorded audio. Qlab or similar to play prerecorded tracks

Other technical or performance notes: 1 technical rehearsal required for bump in, 1-2 technical staff required