The male gazes at me. I see myself through his lens. Many women look at each other in this way. I allow myself to be consumed over and again. Sylph, swan, ghostly lover. Blue bird, old bird, bower bird. Birds are beautiful, aren’t they? Even raptors have their own sort of magnificent defiance.
This work was first presented at Dancehouse, Carlton, Victoria in December 2018 and at the Bold Festival ACT in 2019.
darebin risk residency 2018
I was selected as the inaugural Darebin Risk Resident.
As a mature artist my purpose was to explore movement and locomotor possibilities in ways that satisfy the space eater in me. (The term comes from the way international artists consider Australian dancers and their unique capacity to ‘gobble up’ the space around them.) I was one of these dancers, but now that I cannot move in the same way (very significant movement limitation in ankles and feet), I need to discover other ways.
Ironically, as my physicality changes and in some ways, diminishes, I find myself at a stage in my career where I am at my creative best. I have the skills and knowledge, artistry, experience and the courage to dare to be the kind of artist I wish to be. This is risky in a personal sense as I explore a range of new approaches to cover space with consideration of level and speed. I will be trying things that may go against the grain; that might call for unusual or innovative props. Or might not - props make travel more cumbersome.
The risk also involves challenging social expectations of older dancing bodies. In an art form that favours youth and virtuosity, when the general population thinks of mature bodies dancing, their expectations do not tend to be high. They expect the movement to be slow or measured, cautious and less technical. They hope as audiences they won’t be embarrassed by the dancer's attempts.
I want to trash those expectations. I want to exercise my right to continue to work as an artist, to explore my capacity as a skillful dancer with potential and plenty to say, to push the limits and see what is possible. My focus will be on how I can do this while eating space – locomotion, direction, travel, movement pathways, levels and dimensions.
Check out the blog of the 2 week residency: https://finelinescreativebody.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/space-eater/
My body is an etching 2
This solo was first presented at the BOLD festival, Canberra, 2017. Images and video here. Review: http://michellepotter.org/news/bold-dances-national-portrait-galler