James Batchelor is one of Australia’s most exciting and ambitious young dance-makers. As the recipient of Chunky Move’s prestigious Next Move 2017 commission, he presents the world premiere of REDSHIFT from 23 November.
What drives us as humans to explore the unknown from the deep ocean, to deep space? What is the physical encounter with the unknown? How do we recognise it? How do we capture it? The unknown is a mysterious and romantic place for Batchelor.
Science has long held a fascination for Batchelor. In 2016 he joined a team of 60 scientists, students, artists and ship’s crew on an expedition to the subantarctic Heard and McDonald Islands. It was this experience that has led him to create this new full-length work.
“Floating on the ocean’s surface in one of the most isolated places on Earth, science and art processes converged with surprising synergies,” said Batchelor. “On a constantly moving platform, simply searching for stillness and stability was a task in itself.”
“It was a relentless project, for two months at sea; it demanded extreme patience and flexibility to meet the myriad of challenges that exist in such harsh environments. The isolation, confinement and repetitiveness of our daily experience prompted a profoundly unique approach to space and time. From this unfamiliarity, I developed a particular sensitivity to the body.”
In this new work, Batchelor stretches time and space – a shift in awareness from the very large to the very small; to some surprising places, both surreal and humorous. Continuing his collaboration with visual artist, Annalise Rees and sound designer Morgan Hickinbotham – REDSHIFT explores the encounter of the body with the universe and the process of mapping it.
James Batchelor is a young choreographer from Australia working internationally. He has been presented by major festivals and venues around the world in theatres, galleries, museums and public contexts. His mission as an artist is to make work that inspires curiosity. To shift assumptions, widen awareness and create possibilities.
Batchelor strives to find ways that dance can be a conversation, collaboration and exchange with other disciplines and communities. His work is particular in how it responds to context, from conception to presentation; it strongly considers how a performance exists within a specific space and time.
2017 marks the 10th anniversary of Next Move, a program that directly supports and promotes Australia’s unique choreographic voice, commissioning a range of Australian artists to create new works, offering them full creative control and access to the resources and producing expertise of Chunky Move.
Next Move alumni include: Stephanie Lake, Atlanta Eke, Antony Hamilton, Byron Perry, Adam Wheeler, Benjamin Hancock, Melanie Lane, Michelle Heaven, Paea Leach, Jo Lloyd and Nicola Gunn.
Direction & Choreography: James Batchelor Performers: James Batchelor, Amber McCartney, Jacqueline Trapp, Jack Riley Visual Design: Annalise Rees Composition: Morgan Hickinbotham Lighting Design: Matthew Adey (House of Vnholy) Costume Realisation: Amanda Carr
Chunky Move Studios, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 24 November – 2 December 2017 (preview: 23 November)
Information and Bookings: www.chunkymove.com.au
Image: courtesy of Chunky Move