Dancehouse Season One 2023 Program Announced

Dancehouse Season One 2023

April 12 – 22, 2023

From 12 April, Dancehouse SEASON ONE invites you to experience three exciting Naarm premieres questioning why we perform, why we watch, and how our histories linger in the body.

In week one, catch two chapters from Ryuichi Fujimura‘s HERE NOW! Trilogy: How I Practice My Religion and Fall! Falter! Dance!!! These touching and funny solos unearth how Ryuichi came to dance in 1991 and the exciting, precarious, and passionate career it started.

Also in week one is Tra Mi Dinh‘s new work (UP)HOLDING inspired by the dance marathons of America’s Depression Era (think They Shoot Horses Don’t They). A battle of endurance and desperation, this trio with Emma Harrison, Emma Riches and Tra Mi Dinh builds intensity, urgency and a questioning from the audience of why we witness.

Save with a package to see both HERE NOW! by Ryuichi Fujimura and (UP)HOLDING by Tra Mi Dinh.

In week two, following a premiere at SOPHIENSÆLE, James Batchelor‘s personal new work, Shortcuts to Familiar Places, peers into Australia’s modern dance history and the influence of Gertrud Bodenwieser’s (1890-1959) repertory and training through the body memories of her students.

Move deeper into Shortcuts to Familiar Places with a pre-performance Saturday workshop Echoes of Bodenweiser to experience the language of the work with James Batchelor before seeing the show. Alternatively, hear more with a post-show talk on Friday 21 April.


– Ryuichi Fujimura

When recognition is limited and reward is small, why perform?

Two chapters from the HERE NOW Trilogy written, choreographed and performed solo by Ryuichi Fujimura as a double-bill.

“How I Practice My Religion”

One day in June 1991 in Melbourne, I knocked on the door of a studio for a lunchtime dance class. I had no idea how that moment would subsequently change the path of my life. How I Practice My Religion unravels my dance journey unpacking what has been archived in my body through my dance practice over the last 30 years. This work is dedicated to my first three dance teachers in Melbourne: Caroline English, Margaret Lasica and Anastasi Siotas.

“Fall! Falter!! Dance!!!”

I have often wondered about the desire to perform. What keeps bringing me back to the stage? Is it the applause from the audience? The lure of the bright spotlight? The brief and torrid moment of connection with an audience reminiscent of a one night stand? Fall! Falter!! Dance!!! is a reflection on a contemporary dancer’s life, in which recognition is limited and the reward is small. Through this solo, self-devised performance work, I ask myself the fundamental question: ‘why perform?’.


– Tra Mi Dinh

Are you witnessing, encouraging or complicit? Three dancers endure a ridiculous and unrelenting dance marathon.

Stuck in a loop, (UP)HOLDING questions the morality of endurance in this endless marathon of existence…and performance.

A high-energy work for 3, (UP)HOLDING is a dance that struggles to endure itself. Inspired by the gruelling ‘dance marathons’ of America’s Depression Era, the show toys with acts of endurance and performance. Our role as viewer is challenged as we witness the ridiculous/unrelenting marathon of life alongside the performers. Looping over and over, the work exists in a flux of repetition and desperation as the performers surge through a complex choreography; juggling ceaseless movements with an increasing sense of urgency…enduring, struggling and performing their way towards clarity and resolution.

Shortcuts to Familiar Places

– James Batchelor

Generations on, Batchelor discovers the choreographic and historical inscriptions lingering from modern dance pioneer Gertrud Bodenwieser (1890-1959).

In Shortcuts to Familiar Places, James Batchelor creates a personal performance about the body as a site of historical and choreographic inscription. Like a map that is constantly being redrawn and rewritten, the body here goes through endless cycles of transmission and reception. What are the gestures, forms and patterns that persist over time?

James Batchelor’s dance teacher Ruth Osborne was trained in the methods of modern dance pioneer Gertrud Bodenwieser, who developed visionary approaches to dance education and choreography in the early-mid-20th century. Bodenwieser’s repertory and training were rarely documented in video and hence now mostly survive in the body memories of her students. James Batchelor explores the fragments of movement that still linger from this time in body memory, existing in tension with a seemingly oppositional pull towards the obsessively detailed anatomical deconstruction. In two duets and a solo, he finds new artistic ways to embrace the complexity of self-expression in contemporary times – while echoing the free spirit of the expressive dance (Ausdruckstanz) era.

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