Dancing Sculpture


Dancing Sculpture

Ecstatic, theatrical and sensual – experience modern dance and its transformation of movement and gesture in the 20th century with performances of Carol Brown’s Acts of Becoming (1995) and Gertrud Bodenwieser’s Demon Machine (1924) performed by VCA Dancers.

Acts of Becoming

Acts of Becoming is a solo of displaced memories and survival traces. Originally made in 1995 as an homage to Gertrud Bodenwieser, Brown has developed this original solo for performances at the NGV through additional layers, words and gestures from the archives of former Bodenwieser Tanzgruppe dancers.

Carol Brown is an acclaimed New Zealand-based choreographer and performer. She was introduced to the Bodenwieser method through Shona Dunlop-McTavish, herself a student of the expressionist dancer and choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser in Vienna during the 1930s.

Recently she has been developing the project Releasing the Archive with Thomas Kampe and the New Zealand Dance Company through embodied archival research into the diasporic legacies of former Bodenwieser dancers. Carol is an Associate Professor in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland and directs Choreographic Research Aotearoa.

Choreographer and performer: Carol Brown.

Soundscape: Russell Scoones, includes the voices of Magda Hoyos and Dory Stern.

Demon Machine

Dance students from the Victorian College of the Arts perform a reconstruction of choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser’s Demon Machine (1924), a significant work of modern dance which toured Australia for nearly two decades beginning in 1939. Demon Machine expresses the anxieties of the machine age during the Weimar era, exploring the potential for machines to dehumanise and colonise bodies.

The performance is a recreation by Carol Brown based on reconstructions by Shona Dunlop-MacTavish for Dunedin Dance Theatre (1980), and Bettina Vernon and Evelyn Ippen for Dance Studies, University of Surrey (1988).

VCA Rehearsal Directors: Jenny Kinder and Nina Levona Veretennikova.

Costume Design: Alice Edgeley.

This performance program has been funded through the University of Melbourne, Engagement Grant 2017 and School of Culture and Communication with support from The Australian Centre and the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of Arts.

Image: 1939 The Demon Machine in action, as produced in Williamson and Tait's revue, Around the Clock in New York, London and Australian capital cities 1936, 1939, National Library of Australia, nla.obj-234841600.