17 October 2012 (Melbourne)
Presented by Chunky Move and Melbourne Festival in association with Arts Centre Melbourne.
3–4 June 2017
Concept, Choreography & Direction:
Anouk van Dijk
Composition & Sound Design:
Winner of the 2012 The Age Critics’ Award for best major new Australian work at the Melbourne Festival
“An Act of Now is a genuinely exhilarating work.” ArtsHub
“Beautiful and risky, disturbing and passionate.” Stage Whispers
“An Act of Now signals that Chunky Move will continue to push boundaries as a cutting-edge dance company.” The Age
The Age, 22 October, 2012
The Australian, 22 October, 2012
Herald Sun, 19 October, 2012
ArtsHub, 21 October, 2012
Theatre Notes, 21 October, 2012
Stage Whispers, 19 October, 2012
Dance Australia, 24 October, 2012
An Act of Now has been assisted by the Australian government through the Department of Communication and the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund’. The Australian premiere season of An Act Now was presented by Chunky Move and Melbourne Festival in association with Arts Centre Melbourne. Chunky Move is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
An Act of Now is the award winning debut production from Chunky Move artistic director, Anouk van Dijk.
On stage a glasshouse stands isolated – smoke its only visible inhabitant. In a moment of precise, dynamic movement, the veil of smoke is broken. Eight dancers fill the space, drawn to, yet confined by its boundaries. Who will lead? Who will follow? As the balance of power shifts, who will flourish, and ultimately, who will survive?
Originally conceived for and performed on, Melbourne’s iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl stage, individuals watch and listen in on headphones as Van Dijk’s intense physical choreography unfolds within the glasshouse, creating a deeply immersive and intimate audience experience. An Act of Now is the third production in Van Dijk’s Mensch series – an ongoing investigation into site-specific work.
A Note from Anouk van Dijk
During my first weeks in Melbourne I started to connect the old with the new, continuing an investigation I had begun with a site-specific work reflecting on my own cultural identity. I now look ahead to unknown territory, using familiar stepping stones to discover new insights into a society that could be like my own, but that is profoundly different; because of its geography; its inhabitants; the spirit in the earth; and the ancient connection to the land. Now landed here – An Act of Now.
From this place, in rehearsal we have started a conversation on art, society, dance and movement – a society in movement and movement of bones, bodies and heartbeats. I am reading my notes I made overhearing people reflecting on their own culture here and it says; “lack of connectedness”; “Surrender to materialism”; “Unbridled selfishness”; “A society still struggling to adapt, still trying to find its bearings, in the age of discontinuity”; “hyper life”; “Living in your own bubble”; “I am 100 % me”; “Absolute organic”; “I am my own status symbol, no warranty, but the highest quality”; and “grazing with the herd is the easiest way of connecting with the herd”.
The first line in my notebook for the new work reads: “We are living in a very passionate world where people take a lot of risks”. This notion causes both excitement and pain. Thinking about it, many people don’t only physically live on top of each other in big cities, they also live on top of each other in terms what they expect from one another. Perhaps most surprisingly however, we remain tolerant, and to a certain extent, understanding, where as deep inside it all might just be chaos, a desire to explode, revolt or escape. I admire the human capacity to inevitably cope, dissociate and conform.
Yet in all of that, sometimes we are simply like little children screaming for the attention we feel we really need, and for what we think we have the right to own. In this turmoil of emotions, conversations and movement, An Act of Now was born.