A screening series of significant dance works from our collective performance-pasts.
Courtesy of the Artist is a screening series of significant dance works from both the recent or distant past by local, national and international artists. Caring for the ephemeral artefacts of our dance histories and herstories, to revisit a moment in time and ask what was happening for the artist and the world at that time - perhaps as a way to look at where we are now. Grab your popcorn and get cozy to watch a significant moment from our collective performance-pasts. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with the featured artist.
Courtesy of the Artist is curated by Temperance Hall's Artistic Associate, Luke George. Find out more about Luke's 2021 program of workshops, screenings, talks and artistic development HERE.
Rasa Sayang dances the trace of something no longer present: the suspension of a sublime essence.
Rasa Sayang by Tony Yap Company, premiered at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne in April 2010 to critical acclaim and sold-out houses throughout the season, and was subsequently nominated for both the Green Room Awards and Australian Dance Awards. Rasa Sayang was the result of Tony Yap’s two-year Fellowship from the Dance Board Australia Council of the Arts.
This compelling performance continued within the form of an extended installation established through Tony's long-term partnership with visual artist Naomi Ota and musicians Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey and creative collaborator Ben Rogan, with lighting design by Nik Pajanti and live lighting performance by Dori Dragon Bicchierai.
For decades, Tony Yap has deeply researched Indonesian and Malaysian shamanistic and trance dance traditions, melding them with his practice in Butoh and Grotowski Theatre, and his background in visual arts, to produce a unique approach to contemporary performance-making.
Sayang, meaning 'love' in Tony's native Malaysian, is the name of his mother, the inspiration for the work. Rasa Sayang brought together traditional spiritual themes from East and West in a contemporary visual architecture and formed the final part of Tony Yap Company's Buddha Body Series, an investigation into the idea of emptiness.‘Emptiness’ is loosely translated as the transient nature of vanity. In Eastern traditions such as Buddhist philosophy and Taoism, emptiness (Sunyata) is a realised achievement: a presence of absence.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
"For all its innovations, contemporary dance in Melbourne has largely maintained a general distrust of overt sentimentality and emotional expressiveness in favour of a cool, if often playful, detachment.
Tony Yap's latest bucked the trend with a deep investment in emotion that didn't revert of the more common hysteric or neurotic modes but instead demonstrated how dance can be as powerful a medium of raw feeling as narrative-based theatre"
- John Bailey, The Sunday Age
"Although the focus of this latest production from Yap's Buddha Body Series is 'emptiness', the space brims with latent energy... Yap steps on to the wooden floor and seems to transform... Despite its tiny scale, this work has an epic vibe that is driven by Yap's ability to sustain his trance-like state from start to finish. …
At the end, Yap snaps back into his own persona and shrinks to human proportions. We are left wondering what has just happened and unsure of how to translate the experience into rational thought"
- Jordan Beth Vincent, The Age
Missed the event?
Screening and conversation: Recording by Temperance Hall from 7pm - 8:30pm, Thursday Thursday 28 April
Tony Yap, born in Malaysia, is an accomplished dancer, director, choreographer and visual artist. He has made a commitment to the exploration and creation of an individual dance theatre language that is informed by psycho-physical research, Asian shamanistic trance dance, Butoh and psycho-vocal experimentations. Tony has received numerous nominations and awards including The Decay of the Angel which won him a Green Room Award for Male Dancer Award (1999); and Rasa Sayang was nominated for The Australian Dance Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance (2011). He has been a leading figure in inter-cultural discourse and received Asialink residential grants to work in Indonesia in 2005 and 2014, and a Dance fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts in 2008. Tony is the founding Creative Director of Melaka Arts and Performance Festival – MAP Fest.
Tony was one of the principle performers with IRAA Theatre (1989-1996) and has worked extensively in Australia and overseas including Agamemnon Festival Colline Torinese, Italy, and The Trojan Woman, Vienna International Art Festival. As the founding Artistic director of Mixed Company (now Tony Yap Company) in 1993. Tony has collaborated with many companies and individual in Australia, Indonesia, Austria, Italy, France, Malaysia, Greece, The Netherlands, Denmark, China, South Korea and Japan. He danced in an international collaborative work in The Silence of the Forest with Company Lian in Paris and The Night Gardener in Marseille for the Mai-diteranee Festival, France.
Tony's contemporary trance praxis has resulted in his recent Phd thesis published by the University of Melbourne, Trance-forming Dance.
Find out more about Tony Yap Company: http://www.tonyyapcompany.com/
Images of Rasa Sayang – by Jave Lee and Roger Cummings
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.