Australian Dance Theatre in association with Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Festival presents
Proximity
by Garry Stewart

Adelaide’s own internationally renowned dance company, Australian Dance Theatre, presents a new world premiere as part of Adelaide Festival 2012, at Her Majesty’s Theatre from 24 February – 3 March.

Proximity is an immersive dance and video experience where the miniscule becomes massive, the singular becomes multiple and fleeting moments are suspended and elongated, liberating the body from our everyday understanding of physics.

Choreographer Garry Stewart works with Paris-based video engineer/techno whiz kid Thomas Pachoud to create an astonishing dialogue for dance and real-time video manipulation. The audience gains a dancer’s perspective as the nine dancers utilise video cameras on stage, filming each other, to capture their ingenious physicality live, which is manipulated and projected on giant screens around the stage. The effect is a breathtaking video panorama of dance that upends the very nature of perception, self and identity.

Proximity is informed by philosophical considerations of selfhood – its underlying plurality and fluidity – as well as ideas from neuroscience on the process by which the body neurologically interacts with the world around it.Proximity renders visible the invisible connections between people and the environment which we inhabit, whilst simultaneously splitting open the self to make us reflect upon its manifold and heterogeneous nature.

Thomas Pachoud graduated from IMAC Multimedia Engineer school in France in 2008 and has since worked to combine new technologies in the arts and live performance. Thomas has collaborated with companies including Cie Blanca Li, Blanca Li, Mabel Octobre, Bionic Orchestra, Le Ballet du Rhin, Cirk Baro d’Evel and installation artist Félicie d’Estienne D’Orves. He began work on Proximity after working on The Rite of Spring for Le Ballet du Rhin with Garry Stewart in France in 2011.

Sydney based composer Huey Benjamin, who has drummed for such artists as Yothu Yindi, Debra Conway, and Kate Cerebrano, has created a fine and detailed score where soft electronica dominates rather than the hard beat driven music commonly associated with Australian Dance Theatre works. Huey has also composed the score for Garry’s commissioned works for Le Ballet du Rhin and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Garry Stewart says ‘…Proximity is the convergence point between conceptual concerns rising out of two of my previous works: ‘Held’ and ‘Be Your Self’. Aesthetically both of these works are wildly different from each other yet in Proximity I have created a nexus between the intellectual parameters of the two. As a result, ‘Proximity’ really defines new creative territory for me.’

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