Dance & Physical Theatre

object-shun / SERMON

A double bill of dance from two of Naarm/Melbourne's most exciting emerging choreographers.

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A split image. On the left side, a cropped performing body holding mannequin arms with other mannequin arms lying around. On the right side, a woman moving away from a church door at night, with her right hand held near her face.

Image Credit: Caitlin Dear/James Lauritz

  • Choreographed by: Erin O'Rourke / Rhys Ryan

'object-shun' is a new work by Erin O'Rourke that challenges what is real and what is fake. Time is warped, objects are thrown. Teetering on the cusp of reality and potentiality, impossibility and faux, 'object-shun' examines the perception of a body on display, a body at work, traversing the nuance of body as object vs object as body.

The space is contaminated by a collection of dismembered female mannequin parts. Turn all eyes to the women. Don’t just look, actually see them. Allow them to be more than a body, more than an image, more than an object. In a society driven by consumerism and capitalism, and plagued by the persistent pledge of patriarchal ways, the conversation is surging.

'SERMON' is a new dance work from Rhys Ryan that explores the choreographic codes of religion. Using Catholicism as its frame of reference, the work unlocks the performativity of divine ceremonies and the opportunities they present for physical expressions of the self.

For the baptised, the jurisdiction of the Church is far reaching; an authority that goes beyond the doctrinal to encompass the whole of the human condition. Through liturgical rites, we arrange our bodies in perpetual service to the ghostly and the mythic. 'SERMON' rewrites these ancient choreographies. Sacred rituals are isolated and fractured; repurposed for a new kind of communion. As movement becomes scripture and tradition collapses, a new altar rises on which we may dance.

About Erin O'Rourke and Rhys Ryan

ERIN O'ROURKE is a Naarm/Melbourne-based contemporary dancer, choreographer and researcher. Erin was awarded The Australian Ballet/Telstra Emerging Choreographer in 2022 for her dance film ‘yellow mellow’. Choreographic credits include ‘when the water gets cold’ for Transit Dance, she was in Dancehouse’ Emerging Choreographers Program 2022, and has completed numerous residences at Lucy Guerin Inc. Her recent performance work includes Alicia Frankovich’s Rich in World/Poor in World at NGV Australia as a part of Melbourne Now, Jenni Large’s Body Body Commodity in Mona Foma (Tasmania), and Harrison Hall, Sam McGIip and NAXS Future’s Body Crysis staged at The Substation for Neighbourhood Festival (Melbourne).

RHYS RYAN is a dance artist from Naarm/Melbourne working across performance, choreography and critical writing. Choreographic credits include ‘Bodylex’ (nominated for Best Choreography at the Green Room Awards 2022; Dancehouse 2021, Adelaide Fringe 2022), ‘Condition’ (Dancehouse 2020), ‘Synthetic Upper’ (VCA 2017) and, with collaborator Piaera Lauritz, ‘Colour Correction’ (Melbourne Fringe 2018) and ‘Self Repair’ (Melbourne Fringe 2017). Rhys has held choreographic residencies at Lucy Guerin Inc and Darebin Arts Centre, and was the Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellow at the State Library of Victoria for 2022. He is a lawyer and legal academic, and writes on dance for Limelight and Dance Australia.

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