Inspired by the emotionally charged poetry and unapologetic, raw ferocity of experimental film maker, Maya Deren, ABANDONED DANCES unravels the insular reality of a woman caught in a perpetual cycle of her own actions. Driven by music from venerated artists such as John Zorn and Germaine Tailleferre, with musicians Michael Fortescue and Fiona Stewart, the MADE dancers embark on a kinetic anthem of reckless personal abandon. Plunging towards the ragged edge of movement and emotional stamina ABANDONED DANCES explores how memory influences and manages our slippery, elastic existence.
Established in 2005, Mature Artists Dance Experience (MADE) creates and produces inspiring dance-theatre performed by people aged 50 years and over. MADE’s distinctive style is characterised by its challenging themes, communicating lived experience, reflecting on life and expressing story through dance-theatre in non-conventional performance sites. Each work has been led by renowned choreographers and is a collaboration of visual, design, costume, sound and lighting artists, dramaturgs and live musicians. MADE has presented 13 unique full length works. Presenters of our work include Brisbane Festival (2009), Junction Arts Festival in Launceston (2010, 2015, 2016), Ten Days on the Island (2013,2015,2017), Canberra’s You Are Here Festival 2013, , DARK MOFO 2015, 2016, MONA FOMA Festival 2018, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) 2017, 2018, Salamanca Moves and Saitama Arts Festival in Japan 2018, as well as regional presenters across Tasmania and nationally.
There are official histories and then there are memories. One is laid out as a linear narrative, the other is often haphazardly assembled, subject to strong feeling and the presence of the listener. Memories are visceral. They reside in our bodies. We live them as an event horizon.
The Archivists is memory-research embedded in performance, inviting individuals to share significant moments that might never make the history books. Their memories become encoded in movement and become the stuff of a grander narrative: of lives lived in a place or married to an art form.
Slow, mercurial, deeply engaging, thinking about The Archivists takes my breath away.
What are The Archivists?
The Archivists are from an unknown place. They appear at twilight. They travel through towns and cities, across plains and over mountains, to distant shores in many lands. They collect words, phrases and stories: tales of victory and of woe, of journeys undertaken, of false friends and unexpected diversions. They distil and transform these experiences into single gestures repeated over and over until their bodies absorb and understand the depth and meaning of an experience.
The Archivists wear paper and are covered in invisible words. Their heads are illuminated, to a warm, soft glow. Like human statues, they move almost imperceptibly, pausing to recollect a gesture, and the person from whom that gesture came. The Archivists can be any gender - the paper costume can be adapted should this be desired.