June 29, 2023
In May, Phillip attended the Festival Transameriqué in Montreal to work with choreographer José Navas, Artistic Director of Compagnie Flak. Tripping the light fantastic through an incredible program of opened-ended, choreopolitical assemblage of bountiful stories and visions. A real highlight for Mr.P was Argentinian artists Triziano Cruz Sololoquio.
The Nancy Project
Phillip and José what you to know that in 1988, Navas from Caracas, no English and 200 dollars came to New York, whereas Adams from Melbourne arrived in 1989 with a 6 month tourist visa and a phone number written down on a piece of paper to call a friend of a friend in the East Village from Port Authority. Soon after, José and Phillip meet and became enmeshed in the denizen of New York’s downtown contemporary dance scene. They danced with about everybody on the radar. Fast track, as fortune would have it, after 35 years, they have been enchanted by an uncanny reunion. The day Jose and Phillip began this project, Tina Turner died, and they pledge to perform it for you at 60 years of age. José and Phillip’s Nancy dance is a reunion of queer camaraderie, reflecting on discomfort, the euphoric, and the propensity for ageing beauty.
José and Phillip have cherished their body as sacral and transformative, ritualised even, and despite their choreographic indifferences, queer yearning and all its openings inside of this questing, the desire for sublime virtuoso has remained their most tireless theme. Theirs is a dance of persistent unfinished-ness, a future tense endured through their past, a kind a dance archaeology unearthing and recovering their loss, ageing, invisibility, New York the dress, unison and queerness.
Navas and Adams are thus made ready their bodies naked as a gesture of this project's investigation of uninhibited intimacy. Their personal experiences of dancing queerly across decades of radical upheaval and social development are made flesh. Their Nancy dance is performed in a muted concert setting as a call to silence while exposing the physical details and visceral differences with the audience. José and Phillip’s Nancy dance falls under the splendiferously spell of Franz Schubert String Quartet in C major, ( played live) a velvety substance of compositional divinity.
The Nancy Project will be created in partnership with Company Flak Montreal Québec and Temperance Hall Melbourne, Australia.
Founder and Artistic Director of Campagnie Flak since 1995. José Navas carries out his overall artistic approach in three distince ways: he dances with intensity in solo shows charged with emotion, he constructs abstract group pieces, and he creates pieces of contemporary ballet. Fascinated by the resonance of the body in space and by the calligraphy of formal movement, he shows himself to be an architect, constructing geometric abstract pieces.
In 2008, the choreographer returned to his passion for the solo form by presenting Miniatures, exploiting his maturity’s resources. Next followed Personæ (2012) and Rites (2015). Winterreise (2020) unfolds around Schubert’s song cycle in an adaptation for piano, voice, and dance. In 2023, Navas celebrates the importance of love and art with AVES.
José Navas is also renowned for the innovative way he looks at contemporary ballet. In 2013, he celebrated the centenary of The Rite of Spring with a solo accompanied by a hundred musicians of the Brussels Philharmonic. As guest choreographer, he created for Ballet BC, The National Ballet of Canada, and the German company tanzmainz.
An Associate Dance Artist of the National Arts Centre, José Navas has presented his work in 30 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
In October, Jose will take up residency at Temperance Hall to continue working with the Phillip on The Nancy Project, and present his solo work AVES at Temperance Hall.
Bornholm International Residency Centre, Denmark
Adding to Phillip’s queer global soiree, alongside five artists, he is a current resident at Bornholm International Residency Centre (BIRCA), a program which focuses on Queer performing artists. BIRCA’s focus is radical openness, consisting of transparency, co- creation, sharing and empowerment. At BIRCA, Mr. P has been putting the P into Panther Pansy, investigating a solo practice inspired by The Pink Panther, a choice 1960s/70s cartoon character from his childhood, and the iconic The Pink Panther films starring comedian, actor and writer Peter Sellers as the French Police Inspector Clouseu. A snap below of Mr. P giving the Pink Panther character a whole new layer of homo-queer meaning in pansy-esque posing.
Top: The Nancy Project, photo by Helena Vallès Escolà
Middle: The Nancy Project, photo by Helena Vallès Escolà
Bottom: Phillip at BIRCA, courtesy of Mr.P
Temperance Hall is supported by the Australian Government RISE fund and Creative Victoria.
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.