She herself is a haunted house. She does not possess herself; her ancestors sometimes come and peer out of the windows of her eyes and that is very frightening. She has the mysterious solitude of ambiguous states; she hovers in a no-man's land between life and death, sleeping and waking. (Angela Carter, The Lady of the House of Love)
This project is a cross-cultural collaboration and exchange that has explored our histories, translation, adaptation and creative processes. Following a successful 2015 Asialink residency at the Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, writer/director Sally Richardson developed her initial thematic exploration of Ghosts in a second stage at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre in 2016. The team then developed sound, vision and film ideas during a residency at BUNDANON NSW in 2017. Our ongoing aim is to explore and continue to discover the meeting place between our shared stories and how we are changed by the experience of each other.
To date we have created a series of short dance films The Ghost Series as a response to the various residencies while developing a full-length dance theatre work .(Working title Gui Shu (Belong)
This project has explored and questioned the strong hold the past has on the present in terms of both place and identity. How we carry our story with us to whatever country we live in and how we too are changed by the stories that are embedded in these places. How we are initially outsiders looking in on another place and culture, and how we can begin to share a sense of belonging and connection through a shared experience of story and place. Both Taiwan and Australia are island countries with a violent past and we continue to explore what is the meeting place in our experience of our histories and the lingering effects of colonisation. This timely and relevant project provides a unique insight into two worlds through the perspective of this group of Independent creative artists from diverse cultural backgrounds.
While in Taipei I was able to develop a working relationship with a talented group of professional independent choreographers/dancers/artists & performance makers. Of this group both Hsu Yenting, Yiching Liao and Hsiao Tzu Tien were strong and powerful collaborators and with whom I found a shared dialogue. I have welcomed the opportunity to continue to work with them alongside Australian collaborators Ashley de Prazer, Laura Boynes, Yilin Kong & Tristen Parr, taking the seeds of these early connections and conversations as we continue to develop and grow a new work together. (Director - Sally Richardson)
- June 2017 Residency - Bundanon Trust NSW
- November 2016 Presentation - Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, & State Theatre Centre WA
- November 2016 STRUT SEED & MOORINGS Residencies - Mandurah WA
- September 2015 Presentation - Taipei International Artist Village, Barrie Gallery
- July - September 2015 Asialink Residency - Taipei International Artist Village
The sections of the work I saw auger really well for the work as a whole. Something I have always enjoyed about your work is the attention to detail, and I saw this again - small gestures and movements that draw the viewer in. Even the way the dancer's hair is used feels ghostly. I also think that the use of partner work, and of the stones as props is very effective in making the concept of 'haunting' visual. This is complemented by the soundscape - particularly Tristen's electric cello. Your casting choices are very effective too - the four dancers are all physically and emotionally dramatic dancers, which, I think suits the nature of the work. I am really fascinated how the concept of haunting is conveyed as being more than about ghosts...the idea that we can be haunted by memories, thoughts...I think this is a topic that many of us can relate to.. Nina Levy - Dance Australia editor/critic
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed having the opportunity to see the outcome of this SEED project and how impressed I was that you managed to assemble such a powerful, conceptually strong piece of work in the timeframe, with creative contributions from local, national and international artists across dance, music and film. The showing was absolutely captivating - from the exquisite movement to the haunting soundscape and projections. I am so excited to see this work evolve and look forward to the next phase of its development. Alica Byfield - General Manager - STRUT Dance