Snap Shot #12: My Other Thing

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There is no doubt that for six months of the year, I am obsessed with Aussie Rules footy. I watch the professional version at stadiums and the junior version at suburban ovals throughout Sydney. On TV, I watch games and shows about those games. I read about it all week on the net and even coach it at a fantasy level. I guess you could call it my thing. But there is another type of spectacle that, though observed far less frequently, could qualify as my other thing: modern dance. Sixteen simply clad bodies sweep across the stage. Their elegant movements mirror each other. Then half of them drop down to crouching positions, rising one arm and flicking their wrist with a spastic motion. The contrast with their elegant halves is stunning. Though in many ways worlds apart, footy and dance do share similarities. They both feature highly skilled bodies that can perform amazing physical feats. Each attempts to co-ordinate the motions of a group towards a common goal. The major difference, of course, is that footy players try to do so while others are doing their best to smash them; whilst dancers are choreographed free of interference. The music is moody, the light dim. Bodies swerve and whirl, narrowly missing each other. Suddenly the music switches to a chorus of banjos. The lights go bright. The dancers spin towards the audience with face stretching smiles and shake manically to the music, as if possessed. A switch is flicked and it’s back to moody dim whirling. For myself, both take me on a ride. Footy can be exhilarating and incredibly frustrating. Dance can be intense, increasing my heartbeat, literally bringing me to the edge of my seat. It also transports me in a way no other live performance can. There is no real plot to follow. No clever dialogue. Just music and movement. I love it. The two dancers split. The Belgian man heads to a podium at the edge of the stage. The Spanish woman wraps herself in a column of material hanging from the ceiling. Behind her, a dark screen suddenly comes to life and shapes form. There is a silhouetted tree. The wrapped woman rotates towards it. The tree then starts to interact with her. How is this possible? Another look at the man reveals that he is the master of the tree, using his hands to manipulate sand that sits on a glass panel with a video camera underneath. Pure genius.  

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One thought on “Snap Shot #12: My Other Thing

  1. Forgot to tell you last night that I love reading your snapshots! I get excited every time I see one in my inbox.

    Love your work. W xo

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

    Like

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