Watch the next wave of ballet

bodytorque.Digital

STARTS FRIDAY 31 JULY

OVER 25 ARTISTS, COMPOSERS, FILMMAKERS AND MUSICIANS

Bodytorque was originally conceived to uncover the creativity of The Australian Ballet’s dancers and develop their choreographic talents. This development program has been a breeding ground for our company's brightest talents including Australian legend Graeme Murphy and resident choreographers Stephen Baynes, Tim Harbour and Alice Topp.

This year, Bodytorque goes digital.

Showcasing the endurance of creativity during isolation, five up-and-coming choreographers were tasked with developing new works designed specifically for the digital space. Bodytorque.Digital combines all elements – choreography, dancers, music, and cinematography – together through digital screens and virtual rehearsals.

Bodytorque.Digital will showcase the choreographic talents of François-Eloi Lavignac, Amelia Drummond, Jill Ogai, Tim Coleman and Mason Lovegrove.

Work One: Capriccio was developed by dancer and choreographer François-Eloi Lavignac, in creative collaboration with pianist Kylie Foster and The National Gallery of Victoria. Capriccio stars Principal Artist Benedicte Bemet and aims to show a cycle in which the dancer's reality and thought process are intertwined in a dance where they run from themselves only to find themselves at the beginning.

It is the first of five new works being released as part of the Bodytorque.Digital program.

Watch the next wave of ballet and the future of movement.

Add Bodytorque.Digital to your calendar and be the first to know when a new work is ready to stream.

CREDITS

Capriccio
Choreographer François-Eloi Lavignac
Dancer Benedicte Bemet
Composer J.S Bach "Lament" from Cappricio in B Flat
Pianist Kylie Foster
Cinematographer Brett Ludeman 

  • Fran├žois-Eloi Lavignac's CHOREOGRAPHER'S NOTE - CAPRICCIO

    Overview

    In the process of learning, we move forward from room to room. We build confidence until we open another door, only to realise that we know nothing. Capriccio aims to show a cycle in which the dancer's reality and thought process are intertwined in a dance where they run from themself only to find themself at the beginning.

    The Back Story

    Benedicte and I started workshopping this material in 2017, an intense year. Benedicte was very badly injured and was unable to dance; even walking proved difficult at the time. I could see my friend was losing faith in the artist that she was. I witnessed the warped perception she had of herself and how it could potentially become destructive. She accepted my invitation to work with me, in between her very busy and strenuous rehabilitation hours. She sat on a chair and all I wanted was to remind her that she was still a dancer and that no one and nothing could take that away from her. She trusted me.

    The focus was mainly on small gestures and movement, with the intent of researching the images of the subconscious while performing, trusting the human instinct and finding the room to feel. Her eyes were closed the whole time, a part of her had to look inwards during this dark time as the bright images of movement and stories unravelled in her mind. We put this project aside as Bene became better and better, eventually becoming one of The Australian Ballet's youngest principal artists.

    When David McAllister and Nicolette Fraillon approached me to create for Bodytorque.Digital in 2020, we were in the midst of isolation in Melbourne and to be honest, creativity and productivity were not at the forefront of my mind. I thought: “If you can't make up something, do something you already know.” After finding the video of Benedicte dancing so beautifully on a chair in 2017 I knew I had to revisit this project and take it further.

    Benedicte and I started rehearsing via our computer screens using Microsoft Teams. For two months we called each other two to three times a week to rehearse and find the new version of this project we had started three years ago. We both enjoyed revisiting this content, giving it new meaning and also creating new content to represent us three years after. The beauty of the movement comes from a genuine place of wondering, picturing and constantly researching.

    The music came as an after-thought but is a piece that I have been listening to for a few years and that has accompanied me through life. This lament truly has a specific energy that I found similar to what Benedicte and I were working on.

    I spoke to Kylie, the pianist, a little bit about the piece and she was immediately on the same page in terms of how the piece should be interpreted, and indeed Kylie gave a very pure and solemn performance when we recorded her at Orchestra Victoria’s HQ.

    As I am leaving the company to pursue a career in Europe, it seems fitting to use a piece that Bach wrote for a departed friend. What an incredible opportunity to collaborate with one of my best friends and create with her.

    This piece is not meant to be polished or right and as we were rehearsing not really knowing the final form it would take, we welcomed extra elements that gave it depth. The incredible space at the National Gallery of Victoria allowed us to find these elements and incorporate them into the dance. The array of sounds that a working, creative, dynamic space like NGV makes excited me and the energy coming off the walls and corridors made it easy for us to enter a new dimension.

    Benedicte and I had such fun with Brett Ludeman, our cinematographer, running around the gallery on our own (in a socially distanced manner of course), playing music, dancing, laughing, working. What a privilege this whole process has been. This project turned my isolation into something of beauty and purpose.

UPCOMING WORKS

Add Bodytorque.Digital to your calendar and be the first to know when a new work is ready to stream.

Work Two
Choreographer Mason Lovegrove
Dancers Serena Graham and Joseph Romancewicz
Composer Tomas Parrish (new composition)
Musicians Erica Kennedy (violin) and Melissa Chominsky (cello)

Work Three
Choreographer Jill Ogai
Dancer Jill Ogai
Composer Telemann, 12 Fantasies TWV 4017: Fantasia no.4: Grave and Bach: Violin Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002: VIII. Double
Musicians Melissa Chominsky (cello) and Yi Wang (violin)

Work Four
Choreographer Tim Coleman
Dancers Jasmin Durham, Callum Linnane, Drew Hedditch, Marcus Morelli, Katherine Sonnekus, Jade Wood and Jett Ramsey
Composer Georgia Scott (new composition)
Musicians: Duncan Salton (piano), Mat Levy (percussion) and Melissa Chominsky (cello)

Work Five
Choreographer Amelia Drummond
Dancers Belle Urwin and Adam Elmes
Composer Natalie Nicolas (new composition)
Musicians Yi Wang (violin) Tom Higham (viola) and Dianne Froomes (cello)

The 2020 Bodytorque.Digital program is proudly supported by The Robert Salzer Foundation.