Welcome to a new feature on looking up/looking down, through which I’ll be introducing some fascinating, creative people and inviting them to talk about things they love.
Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements
will never do any harm to the world.—Voltaire
Amy Wiseman. Photo by Darren Smith
This month, 3, 3 and 3 welcomes dancer Amy Wiseman, co-founder (with Carly Armstrong and Jessica Lewis) of Unkempt Dance collective. Unkempt’s Tea for Three was performed to a sold-out season at the Adelaide Fringe 2011 and nominated for Best Dance Award; won the People’s Choice Award at Canberra’s Short + Sweet Dance Festival 2011; and was developed into a full-length work, Teahouse, for Fringe World in Perth 2012. Unkempt has secured a Seed Residency to begin a new work this month, and will finish 2013 with a second development of The Square Piece with choreographer Rhiannon Newton.
Amy has also danced with Australian electro-pop band Empire of the Sun since 2009, touring throughout Australia, Europe, America, Mexico and South-East Asia. She is a member of the STRUT dance board and a regular contributor to dancewest magazine in Perth (acting editor in 2013).
Over to Amy…
3 things I love about what I do
1. I love that it rarely feels like work. I get to do what I love: move, explore, research, exercise, plan, laugh, write and play.
2. The versatility. I love that I am always learning more and more skills and building a diverse career. The modern-day dance artist has to wear so many hats to ensure their work is made, then funded, then seen: performer, choreographer, writer, editor, teacher, project manager, producer, arts facilitator, even a techie on occasion.
3. I love that I am never bored. There is always a different project coming up, a workshop providing a new approach to moving, a new concept to begin making movement with or writing about, or a collaboration with others that makes you think in a different way. These changes and shifts happen every day, week and month…if it wasn’t so delightful, it would be exhausting!
Sometimes your day involves getting into a big cement tub for the sake of art! Unkempt Dance in Teahouse. Photo by Darren Smith
3 places I’d like to visit or revisit
1. Canada. I have always felt a strange connection to this vast stretch of land. Perhaps it’s curiosity about a place so different in geography to Australia, yet with the same reputation for natural beauty. Perhaps it’s my fascination with snow and admiration for survival in freezing climes. Or perhaps it’s just my love of maple syrup and secret hope to meet a moose.
2.Tasmania. I have visited very briefly, but this is one place I would like to explore—hire a car and do it properly. Tasmania’s wild and unspoilt natural landscapes are among the richest in Australia. I plan to immerse myself.
3. New York. Always New York. I’ve been fortunate to have visited many times, but my love of this hustling bustling city is never satiated. There’s something captivating about Manhattan’s compact living—how over time it has shifted and morphed in style, according to prosperity and culture. When I’m there, I sometimes imagine being an old building, witnessing the streets gradually changing over hundreds of years—history on a grand scale but also at a personal level. New York is a place where you really do marvel at the human species.
There’s something about windows. And fire escapes. Soho, New York, May 2013
3 favourite choreographers
I found this really difficult. I’ve been lucky to have had a taste of many artists’ work in Australia and overseas, but usually it’s only one show or piece and I don’t get the opportunity to compare or get an overall sense of the choreographer’s career. It’s different from, say, a favourite author: if you like one novel you can pick up a stack and indulge yourself. But you really need to see a dance performance live for the full impact, and that’s not always possible, especially from Perth. So instead I am going to list three works that have blown me away, and whose choreographers/collaborators I want to pursue.
1. Hofesh Shechter Company’s Uprising (Juli Dans Festival, Amsterdam, July 2008)
‘The work is choreographed with such verve that its effect is almost ecstatic…it is an arrestingly powerful piece’—Judith Mackrell, The Guardian, October 2007
2. Lawn by Splinter Group, a trio of contemporary dancers Gavin Webber, Grayson Millwood and Vincent Crowley (Perth International Arts Festival, Perth, February 2006)
‘A perfectly crafted horror fantasy [where] everything works; the timing, the rhythm and the images’—Berlin Zeitung
3. Körper by Sacha Waltz and Guests (Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne, October 2009)
‘Körper contains amazing, distilled moments that resonate, despite the noise that surrounds them’—Bron Batten, Australian Stage, October 2009
Fountain meets sky. I’m a fan of clouds, and often take sky photos while on my travels. Versailles, France, July 2012
To keep up with shows and events, please ‘like’ Unkempt Dance on Facebook
Unkempt Dance in association with STRUT presents:
In Short (part of the Eyes Wide open dance platform)
A curious collection by emerging dance artists
8–10 November 2013, 6pm
Studio 3, Top Level, King Street Arts Centre, Perth