CreaturesAnon video
A video of AnonAnon dance duo [Rachel Sweeney and Marnie Orr], made with Lucy Thane of Red Shoe Films. AnonAnon was a London based outfit presenting in many clubs and bars, including a 3-month residency at Vibe Bar, Brick Lane East London. Song: Girl Anachronism by Dresden Dolls.

Inhabitate workshop training

ROCKface workshop
Hovea, John Forrest National Park, Western Australia 4-7 July
photo: marnie orr
dancers: rachel sweeney | jess lewis

SURFACE TENSIONS: Interdisciplinary Dance Practice - conference paper

ADSA annual conference (Australasian Drama Studies Association), Perth Australia, 30 June - 3 July 2009

Paper Draft

Presented by
ROCKface – Marnie Orr & Rachel Sweeney

In an ever increasing volatile balance between human development and material resources within the present boom or bust climate, promoting an awareness of individual agency must start with whatever individual’s sensibilities are present.

Surface Tensions’ is a mixed media talk presented by Marnie Orr and Rachel Sweeney of ROCKface interdisciplinary performance collaboration. They address the dancing body in contemporary performance praxis as a shifting site reflecting cultural and ecological concerns, directly engaging with matters surrounding sustainability based on its ability to articulate physically a critical response to interior (anatomical) and exterior (environmental) states.

Surface Tensions’ cites four years of performance / dialogue exchange of interdisciplinary inquiry into site-based performance making processes interfacing contemporary choreographic research (based on Butoh and Bodyweather practice, see biographies) with disciplines of geology, cartography and environmental science. Using stills/video projections and journal extracts, this joint presentation introduces our latest project Inhabitation, beginning in Western Australia, July 2009.

Reflecting on the emigration of materials as societal action, we parallel how the performance ethos of ROCKface adapts processes of material property exchange as a work motif, exploring sensorial approaches to land through live field investigations of the dancing body in relation to its immediate surrounds.

The shifting dynamics of our transnational terrain inquiry relating to power, culture, language, audience and intensity are considered under the terms Translation, Transmission and Transformation.

Translation:// We regard ourselves as interdisciplinary ‘live researchers’, where the critical hub of ROCKface identifies processes of adaptation surrounding the body’s relation to site, subscribing to key philosophical principles underlying ‘Deep Ecology’i. Current ecological concerns look to adaptation as key to sustaining endemic mineral, animal and vegetable life through identifying possible compatible species trans-globally.

Transmission:// We outline our performance methods, focusing on the transfer of physical principles between studio and site across time and geographic distance.

Vital to sustaining ROCKface performance practice is the recognition of ecological integration and adaptation processes as macro/microcosms of human relations, in parallel with physical matter redistribution and changing states.

i First coined by Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess. ‘deep ecology’ describes an ecological philosophy and ethic-aware scientific approach based on the lived experience of deep, radical interconnectedness with environment. Rejecting a reductionist methodology, the worldview builds on cultural historian Thomas Berry’s position that the world is made up of “a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects” – see Stephan Harding’s explanation in Animate Earth, Science, Intuition and Gaia, Green Books, 2006.

Furthering the movement of deep ecology is the anti-mechanistic theory of Gaia developed by atmospheric chemist James Lovelock and evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis. Gaia theory refers to the earth as a living organism, where all things are interrelated and interdependent. Adopting these foundations, ROCKface identifies the body as constantly, simultaneously engaged with the self and the immediate surrounding environments, living the experience as embedded within the world’s ecological matrix.

Orr & Sweeney - July Events in Western Australia

TALK: Thur 2 July 09, 11am @ Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, Room 3.112.

Presentation of a joint academic paper at ADSA, the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama & Performance Studies. Read the outline on page 70 of the Full Programme.
Photo: Marnie Orr. Bodies: Michelle Outram (on rocks) & Caitlin McLoughlin (standing) during Inhabitation Kalamunda. March 09.

RESIDENTIAL WORKSHOP: 4 - 7 July 09, in Hovea, Perth Hills. See blog entry below for details.

Photo: Marnie Orr, for Transnational Terrain, Piesse Brook, Kalamunda, July 08.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT: 9 - 16 July 09, Bridgetown
Working across the mediums of dance and photography/video, working with site.
In collaboration with Kim Perrier, Bridgetown visual artist.
Invited guests include film artist Justin Morrissey from Brisbane, and psychotherapy student & trained opera singer/actor/film editor, Cristina Santolin.
Guest speakers include local environmental management professionals Sheila Howat and Cheryl Hamence.

(See below for details)

Researching the camera as holding agency, working with body in site.
Photo: Thomas Kelly of his own hand, during Movement Lab, Bridgetown inhabitation research, Feb 09.

TALK: Fri 31 July 09, 3:30pm @ Symbiotica, Human Biology Department, University Western Australia.
For details - email amanda(at) symbiotica(dot) uwa(dot)edu (dot)au
Photo: Rachel Sweeney. Bodies: Marnie Orr (left), Billy Rippe (right). For Palimpsest, Mapping Project Mar 07, Dartmoor National Park, UK.

Camera|Body|Place - Rachel Sweeney arrives in Australia this month

11-15 July 2009.

Site based research investigating the camera as holding agency in relation to human body in place. The extended company is working with local new and established visual media artists from the Bridgetwon area, south Western Australia.

Click on image to enlarge.

SURFACE TENSIONS - Immersive Physical Workshop --> 4 - 7 July 2009

Surface Tensions
Body | Land | Relation

Immersive Physical Workshop
for dance and visual artists

4 - 7 July 2009
Hovea, Perth Hills

Cost: $300 full / $260 conc.
Includes 4xnights basic accom, & food.
More info:
Contact Marnie — e: dance at filtered dot com / ph: 0412 115 925

Dance artists Marnie Orr (Aus) and Rachel Sweeney (UK) lead a 4-day residential workshop for professional dance and visual artists exploring creative approaches to site based movement and visual performance practices.

Using body mapping | micro & macro site exploration | topographic movement training,
Orr & Sweeney steer an interdisciplinary performance investigation into perception, propriocetion and perspective exploring the relationship of body and land.

The working day is divided between studio practice including a Bodyweather MB workout (mind/body, muscle/bone), on-site solo/group improvisation work, micro-performances and discussion/review sessions. Includes visiting field specialists from geology/ecology, video presentation, peer mentoring and access to literature.

For the duration participants stay in a workshop studio on ’Noonyarra’ property in Hovea, Perth Hills. Participants share evening meals, cooking & cleaning duties.

Company Bio:
ROCKface was founded in 2006 as the research arm of the Orr/Sweeney partnership, investigating site based performance and movement for the development of physicality and its associated verbal language for understanding across disciplines. Our work is sustained through rigorous studio-to-field training utilising immersive, inhabitational and durational processes. With combined backgrounds in Butoh and Bodyweather practice, the root of our work is to highlight the sensory, kinetic intelligence of the dancer working in immersive conditions.

We draw from intuitive and proprioceptive memory working in distinct perceptual modes of engagement with a particular site or environment, and also in consultation with a range of ‘field’ professionals working in the disciplines of geography and ecology, and other local knowledge holders.

Ongoing research in the UK is steered through Mapping Project in partnership with Aune Head Arts, supported by Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Plymouth and Dance in Devon. Future projects include: research collaboration with Willem Montagne, Geographer and Dartmoor National Park Authorities Representative, utilising Geographic Information Systems within a contemporary choreographic / cartographic inquiry (Summer 2010); a photographic exhibition of ROCKface work, in collaboration with Devon dance photographer, Kevin Clifford at the Duchy Exhibition Centre, Dartmoor, Devon (Summer 2009).

ROCKface recently began a relation into Australia upon Marnie Orr’s return home after four years based in UK. Via a virtual exchange in 2008 Orr & Sweeney began Transnational Terrain project, investigating geographical and cultural correlations across city and wilderness sites, between Plymouth docks / Dartmoor National Park (UK) and Perth city / Kalamunda National Park (WA) through solo/duo performance walks and body-place interrogations identifying the camera eye and frame as holding agency.

This work continues by feeding into the upcoming Inhabitation project, July 2009, a research and development phase toward a multi-media performance and photographic exhibition programmed in the south-west 3rd annual Bridgetown digital media, film & arts festival, Stream Dreaming, Jan/Feb 2010. Orr & Sweeney will work with a collection of performers and media artists as well as two environmental systems managers working between Perth hills (Kalamunda/Hovea/John Forrest National Park) and Bridgetown, two locations on the edge of the geologically significant Yilgarn crator.

The predecessor to Bridgetown is Surface Tensions, the immersive physical workshop presented as a 4-day group residency in Perth's hills.

Kalamunda Solo Investigations - for Transnational Terrain - Camera|Body|Country

Marnie Orr - Self portraits taken at Piesse Brooke

ROCKface - body|place|frame research

Mapping Project Stage 1 & 2 - Dartmoor National Park, Devon UK
Mar & Sept 07

Triangulating Body-Camera-Country. Process with arts collaborators and photographer Kevin Clifford. Photo: Kevin Clifford. Bodies (L to R): Ann Rapstoff, Rachel Sweeney, Marnie Orr, Natalie Wauldbaum, Llewyn Maire.

Training & Exploration: Blindfold activity - enables 'sinking time'.
Photo: Kevin Clifford. Body: Rachel Sweeney

Walking Workshop - Wind investigation.
Photo: Marnie Orr. Bodies: Rachel Sweeney & Ruth Dawe.

Cartographic processes - Mapping ancient mapping at East Birch Tor. Photo: Rachel Sweeney.

Drop/Snap performative task - Triangulating Body-Camera-Country.
Photo: Rachel Sweeney. Body: Marnie Orr

Mapping Stage 1 - Tourist Bodies - Perfomance presentation at Grimspound, exploration of 'Physical Approaches to Place' - navigational tool developed by Orr and Sweeney.
Photo: Alex Murdin. Bodies: Natalie Wauldbaum & Marnie Orr.

AnonAnon - interactive dance duo

SkinCity site-specific dance intervention for Big Dance London, 06.
Installed into Oxford Street and surrounding dingy backstreets.

ButlersAnon - Vibe Bar Intervention, 4-month residency, Feb 07

CreaturesAnon, Vibe Bar Residency, Brick Lane London Mar 07

ButlersAnon - Red Shoe Films Opening night, Hackney London, Jul 06

ButlersAnon - dance performance @ Red Shoe Films Opening, Hackney London, Jul 06

AnonAnon-esque - London 07

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