fbpx Biennale Danza 2023 | Lucy Guerin Inc & Matthias Schack-Arnott - Pendulum
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Lucy Guerin Inc & Matthias Schack-Arnott - Pendulum

Year/Length:2021, 40’ (European premiere)
Co-creation:Lucy Guerin, Matthias Schack-Arnott
Choreography:Lucy Guerin with the dancers
Dancers:Deanne Butterworth, Tra Mi Dinh, Alice Dixon, Stephanie Halyburton, Helen Herbertson, Amber McCartney, Lilian Steiner
Composition and sound design:Matthias Schack-Arnott
Costume design:Harriet Oxley
Lighting design:Bosco Shaw
System design and programming:Nick Roux
Pendulum design:Rob Larsen
Production management:Keith Tucker (Megafun)
Stage management:Hannah Tobin
Executive production:Brendan O’Connell
A production by:Lucy Guerin Inc
Commissioned by:RISING Melbourne


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An expanse of pendulums and an empty stage. Pendulum is a performance for seven dancers and thirty-nine pendulums conceived and produced by Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin – trained in New York and active since the second half of the 1980s – with the composer, percussionist and visual artist Matthias Schack-Arnott, who has worked with important composers from Steve Reich and John Zorn to Unsuk Chin and Liza Lim. Focused on rhythm, tempo and gravity, Pendulum centres the entire performance on a physical and mathematical object, the pendulum.

“Researching this work”, explains Guerin, “involved the investigation of gravity. We had to go into the physics of it. We had to figure out all the elements: does a big swing take more time than a small one. Does a bigger bell suspend for longer than a smaller bell”.  Designed by Robert Larsen, a designer at the service of creative practices that seek to explore the relationship between technology and art, and by the designer of sound sculptures Nick Roux, the Shack-Arnott and Guerin pendulums are made of brass in the shape of a bell, each equipped with a loudspeaker, a light inside and system of sensors that respond to the touch of the dancers. “A lot of the movement is quite functional”, says the choreographer from Adelaide, “creating fields of motion that are activated by the dancers. The dancers are always the ones with the agency to move the bells. But, once the bells are moving, the dancers are compelled to respond”. Suspended in a space cloaked in semi-darkness and the soundscape created by Matthias Schack Arnott, the pendulums, activated by the performers, swing, buzz, pulsate light, draw mesmerizing orbits. “It’s really as if everything responded to physics and the imagery that these objects carry with them”, concludes Guerin, and adds:  “One of the dancers described the experience of it as dancing with a partner that doesn't really care about you”. On stage the dancers of the eponymous company founded by Lucy Guerin in Melbourne in 2002.

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Biennale Danza
Biennale Danza