There is something very special and hard to put into words about Temperance Hall. I feel very held by the space, and the physical evidence of years of love and art put into the building, be it splattered paint, or an eclectic range of orange chairs, it is encouragement to keep creating.
The Phillip Adams VCA Mentorship Award offers a formal mentorship/internship for a graduating student from the Victorian College of the Arts, facilitated by Artistic Director, Phillip Adams. The Mentorship seeks to identify and foster new talent among Australian dancers and choreographers. A VCA graduate himself, Adams has devoted over 25 years of teaching and mentoring to successful alumni.
Iris Elgar and Cora Hughes were awarded the 2022 Phillip Adams Mentorship Award at the VCA Graduate showcase, receiving in-kind space, one-on-one mentoring from Phillip, and exclusive secondment opportunities to participate in company projects in 2023.
Iris Elgar reflects on their time at Temperance Hall so far below.
IRIS ELGAR REFLECTION
As a recipient of the Phillip Adams/Temperance Hall Mentorship Award, I’ve had the pleasure of undergoing a month-long residency at Temperance Hall: a building that hums with creativity. I feel incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity at this stage of my artistic practice as it has given me the time to explore my choreographic process and how I create. There is something very special and hard to put into words about Temperance Hall. I feel very held by the space, and the physical evidence of years of love and art put into the building, be it splattered paint or an eclectic range of orange chairs, is encouragement to keep creating.
The main component of my residency has been developing a new work. I’ve given it the working title Tear a pillow; eat the down, and it’s the result of many years of rumination on my relationship to gender, and how it is intertwined with my life experiences of varying distress, comfort/discomfort, and bliss. I have been examining how compulsory heterosexuality held tight to my body growing up, my difficult relationship to femininity, and the resulting curiosity about my masculinity. At the core of this development, I look at the concept of performance, and the dual actions of compulsion. I’m intrigued by how we associate gender with movement and positionality of the body; how we make and break illusions of gender. Using phrases that emerge and disappear, cut off, or stay for an uncomfortably long amount of time, I dip into different modes of expression in an attempt to converse with my audience. I greatly value connection to audience, and hope that my choreography will develop to do so effectively.
I give deep thanks to the team at Temperance Hall for supporting me with this award. This has been an invaluable process.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Iris Elgar is a dance artist living in Melbourne, on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people. Keenly interested in both performance and choreography, they often bring queerness, tenderness, and introspection to their work. They love dance for its readiness to foster empathy, understanding, and connection, and value listening and curiosity within their practice. Iris has experience performing in conventional and non-conventional spaces: theatres, galleries, parks, museums, and streets, often in durational works.
In 2022, Iris graduated the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. During their degree, they performed in works by Brianna Kell and Daniel Riley, Gregory Lorenzutti, Ngioka Bunda-Heath, and Lucy Guerin.
Some work Iris has performed in and/or choreographed include: ‘Rise’ (Brianna Kell and Daniel Riley, 2020), ‘I am Not a Magician’ (Iris Elgar, 2022), ‘Theatrum Botanicum’ (Gregory Lorenzutti), ‘Maude King is Still Performing’ (Iris Elgar, 2022), ‘Frank and Tomaat
Test the Grounds’ (Iris Elgar and Valentina Emerald, 2022), ‘Footprints’ (Ngioka Bunda- Heath, 2022) ‘Splinter Group’ (Lucy Guerin, 2022), ‘Again, and’ (Iris Elgar and Valentina Emerald, 2023), and ‘Tina and Tomaat are On The Table’ (Iris Elgar and Valentina Emerald, 2023).
Courtesy of the artist, Iris elgar
Temperance Hall's Melbourne VCA Mentorship program has been generously supported byCreative Victoria, The Australian Government RISE Fund and The City of Port Phillip.
Temperance Hall acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land in which we dance and create, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation, and pay our respect to Elders both past and present and, through them, to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.