Humanity is on the brink of change. In a solemn grey world, men strive to find the power of beauty to curtail the spread of fear and preserve their compassion for each other. Exploring ideas of vulnerability, strength, terror and beauty, this contemporary dance work was created with men from Denmark and Albany in 2017. Most had no prior dance experience, for many of them, the experience was transformational. The choreography is powerful. Sequences of complex polyrhythms are combined with slower, ritualistic gestures of restrained intensity. The performance reaches its peak when two soloists, one professional dancer (delicate and birdlike) and one community soloist (contorted and quavering) collide in a deft and fierce duet filled with soaring leaps and effortless lifts. Supported by an ensemble of men, the performance has a sense of precariousness as they constantly seek to balance the elements of their world, uniting and fragmenting until a final, suspended moment. The visual design, by award winning artists, Kevin Draper and Indra Geidans, feature black and white striped poles and branches. Held and moved by the dancers, they provide a visual framework linking into pyramid structures or stacking to create forests and nests. Original sound design by James Gentle evokes a sense of urgent vigil and solidarity. We take 5 – 10 men from your community and train them over one week to perform with 5 members from the original cast. This work challenges stereotypes about men and offers a transformational experience for community members. Research attached to the original project provides evidence that this project encourages creative expression, design-thinking and social connection. Shortlisted for a 2018 Australian Dance Award.
Form and Style:
This dance work was first presented in a derelict mill site in Denmark, 2017. It was remounted in a proscenium arch at Albany Entertainment Centre in 2018. The experience is designed to support audiences who have limited exposure to contemporary dance. We include a number of elements; a pre-performance introduction from Annette Carmichael that guides audiences on how to view the work; and for children who attend with their parents, we provide a 15 minute on stage active debrief where they explore the set and get to re-enact the more intense parts of the performance to encourage conversation amongst the watching parents. The night ends with a party in the foyer, with live music from multi-instrumentalist James Gentle. This is a chance to celebrate with your community performers and discuss the experience further.
Duration of performance: 45-minutes performance + 15-minute on stage active debrief for children + 30 – 45-minute foyer music performance
Maximum performances a week: 2
Remount: $18,430 plus $2,700 per town for one week of dance workshops with local men
Weekly Fee: $9,600
Date available: July 2020
No. people in Touring Party: 8
Bump-in Time: 8hrs bump in + 6 hours onstage rehearsals for local performers
Bump-out Time: 4
First Possible Performance: Third day
Minimum Break Between Shows: 2 hours
Theatre formats: All formats plus outdoor venues possible too
Minimum Stage Width: 10m
Minimum Stage Depth: 8m
Minimum Stage Height: 5m
Minimum Wing Space: 2m either side
Raised platforms upstage, metal channel with prongs downstage, 10 small concrete bases for branches upstage OP. Light weight pole structure upstage prompt side. Can be performed with a range of backdrops including earth wall, cyclorama, brick or tin.
Can be restaged in a variety of environments, including industrial sites with concrete or earth floors.
Lighting - provided by company:
Additional lighting can be provided to augment the venue's.
Lighting Requirements - to be provided by venue:
A customised lighting plan will be provided based on your choice of venue. Lighting requires footlights and sidelights plus specials.
Audio - provided by company:
Sound is controlled live via a laptop and launchpad.
Audio Requirements - to be provided by venue:
Standard theatre PA
No. of additional lighting staff required from venue: 1
No. of additional sound staff required from venue: 0
No. of multi-taskers from venue: 1
Dressing rooms required:
Sufficient for 10 - 12 men
Behind the scenes documentaries (see http://annettecarmichael.com.au/the-beauty-index.html) Photographs Video Media Release
This work is driven by community engagement. We help you recruit 5 - 8 men from your community to rehearse for one week and then perform with members of the original cast from Denmark. The process generates a high level of social media engagement and discussion around the idea of men dancing. Annette and performers can share stories of the project with community groups. Hear about one man's rapid recovery from heart surgery to make it to opening night, or the impact of the project on a local footy player and his sons. The project actively demonstrates how the arts contribute to resilience and community well-being. Annette and James can also facilitate conversations with local artists about collaboration and working with community. In-school dance workshops for boys are available. James can also provide workshops on instrument making or recording and manipulating sound.
Adults looking for enrichment, challenge and expression. Suitable for children attending with adults, the performance includes loud sounds.
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Masterpiece at the Mill” Denmark Bulletin “Carmichael, a veteran in regional community contemporary dance projects, has an acute and profound knowledge of her context. From her spoken introduction describing how to watch the work, to the detail and precision executed by her team of dancers, Carmichael’s command of the form was palpable in this season.”Amy Wiseman, SeeSaw Magazine