2017 Dance Massive program announced

Martin Hansen's If It's All In My Veins - photo by Gregory LorenzuttiThe 2017 Dance Massive program features the full spectrum of choreographic forms with 20 productions – 12 of which are world premieres – from many of Australia’s most talked about dancers and choreographers in a program that will urge audiences to engage, connect, and question everything.

Curated by the Dance Massive consortium: Arts House, Dancehouse and Malthouse Theatre in association with Ausdance Victoria, Dance Massive V is choreography at its best: as theatre, as action, as communal gathering and as form that is creating its future. Dance Massive will take audiences onto the streets, in and out of the black box and into the unknown, presenting an audacious line-up of works over ten days next March.

From dancers learning to skateboard, to a work grown out of a residency on Australia’s marine research vessel Investigator, to a large scale outdoor dance off, to a GIF inspired re-imagining of the future of dance, this year’s program has both artists and audiences alike questioning what is dance, and just how far can it go. Highlights of the 2017 Dance Massive program include;

An ambitious new project from Chunky Move sees Artistic Director Anouk van Dijk join forces with internationally renowned multimedia artist Ho Tzu Nyen to explore the role of clouds as ethereal influences that disturb or heighten human existence in Anti-Gravity; and one of Australia’s most original dance companies Lucy Guerin Inc presents the world premiere of Split, a delicate and complex new production that explores the ever-diminishing dimensions of space and time to reveal a mesmerizing physical drama.

A work grown out of a two-month residency aboard Australia’s state-of-the-art marine research vessel Investigator, award winning choreographer and performer James Batchelor presents Deepspace, a performance that plays at the intersection of the arts and sciences; and in a world whose future remains uncertain, Rebecca Jensen (OVERWORLD, Deep Soulful Sweats) presents Deep Sea Dances, a production that will draw us away from the mainland, past the beach and into the abyss in a bid to prioritise change in our ecology.

Emerging from an initial work as part of the Keir Choreographic Award Finals this year, Martin Hansen presents If It’s All In My Veins, using animated GIFs as metaphors, he presents his dynamic and unsettling take on dance history to demonstrate just how much it is conditioned by the present; and investigating the power of tranquility and its relationship to chaos, 2015 Green Room Award winner, Lilian Steiner performs her stirring work, Noise Quartet Meditation.

A cross between The Office and a cage fight, Gold Coast/Berlin company The Farm and Performing Lines present Cockfight, a game of comical one-upmanship and power play between men; and following previous works Timeproject (2013), and Spaceproject (2015), Stellar Project from Prue Lang continues the exploration of space and time in a bid to transform our understandings of the universe; and long time experimenter, Sandra Parker presents an intricate work exploring the potentials of the body in an automated and technologically advanced world in Small Details.

Rising choreographic star and Bundjalong woman Mariaa Randall presents the world premiere of Divercity, a playful and multilayered exploration of place, people, landscapes and language; and organic, electrifying and utterly immersive, Australian/Maori artist Victoria Hunt presents a large-scale production that reinstates the power of indigenous creativity through Pacific, Asian and Western dance practice in Tangi Wai… the cry of water.

Connected by their common Hungarian heritage, dynamic duo József Trefeli and Gábor Varga perform not one but two site specific works in this year’s Dance Massive program that delve into shared cultural traditions – The József Trefeli Company present Jinx 103, taking dance performance to a public space with a blend of contemporary dance and body percussion; and Creature tackles the dance traditions that the performers have held onto since their childhoods to create a surprising piece crazy with energy, and a self deprecating sense of humour.

32 of Australia’s best street dancers will battle it out for supremacy in Battle Massive, a free outdoor event that will take place at Federation Square in a dance off like no other, open for entries from late January; and the result of a three-year dance exchange between Darwin’s D*City Rockers and Cambodia’s Tiny Toones youth program, internationally renowned Sydney hip-hop artist Nick Power demonstrates their shared hip-hop culture and reveals the dramatically different worlds that surround them and choreographic links that unite them in
Between Tiny Cities.

Nicola Gunn teams up with choreographer Jo Lloyd to explore the rawness of confrontation and the ethical dilemma of intervention with Piece For Person & Ghetto Blaster; and accomplished dancers try to negotiate the new skill of skateboarding in Tiny Slopes from Nat Cursio Co, expanding on her ongoing interest in vulnerability and resilience; and taking audiences out of the theatre, the latest work from Lz Dunn is a participatory experiment for audiences in group behaviour. Based on flocking studies and queer ecology, Aeon’s a playful push through public space and private discomfort.

Trans media artist and compulsive experimentalist Shian Law presents Vanishing Point, documenting his experience of performance in three choreographic works by dance luminaries Phillip Adams, Deanne Butterworth and Jo Lloyd; and Rhiannon Newton makes a radical proposal for coming together to share an experience of transformation in Bodied Assemblies.

A unique 360° showcase of Australia’s dance landscape combining three artistic visions, Dance Massive is the only contemporary dance festival in the country specifically dedicated to Australian makers with both a national and international reach.

Deeply mythical, exuberantly fun, confidently abstract and at times, hilariously ambiguous forms, Dance Massive runs 14 – 26 March 2017. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.dancemassive.com.au for more details.

Image: Martin Hansen’s If It’s All In My Veins – photo by Gregory Lorenzutti