Photography by Dianna Snape unless otherwise noted
Liminal Spaces has collaborated with leading contemporary dance company Dancenorth for its new innovative work ‘Dust’ which will be touring nationally and internationally. As the production designers, Liminal worked with the artistic directors and dancers to conceptualise the themes for the dance work, workshopping these ideas that then informed the choreography and design of the production. The transformative design allows the dancers to manipulate and shift the spatial onstage environment.
One of the questions we have been asked in the design process and our collaboration with Dancenorth has been, what is your relationship as a creator to the human body?
We’ve always been interested in the relationship between space and body - how one informs the other and the ephemerality of this interaction. While we are trained as architects and industrial designers, working in contemporary dance is particularly refreshing for us as it allows us to test ideas and conceptual thinking through an abstract expression and interpretation, which sharpens our creative agility. Our background is shaped by a finely tuned sensibility in the creation of space and the way people interact with it.
Underpinning our work in performance is the aim of distilling meaning through the use of minimal forms while creating multilayered, manipulable design elements that can support and heighten the theatrical experience, encouraging creative interaction in the development of the work from both the Artistic Directors and the dancers. Dust and the way Dancenorth have interpreted and made use of the transformative possibilities creating different worlds that respond to the themes explored is a fantastic example of this.
The main spatial device is the ‘wall’, an adjustable installation that at first appears as a monolithic barrier but its modularity and fragmentation is revealed as layers are peeled, leading to transformation. The dancers interact with the wall to create changing stage configurations to interact with, deconstructing and reconstructing different scenes as the themes of the performance shift. The physical movements of the dancers reveal and pull open the modular set pieces and then use them to assemble a different environment creating new foundations. The design reflects the structures, barriers and borders that we all experience in life, expressing the “architecture of restriction and opportunity”.
Commissioned by and touring to Brisbane Festival, Sydney Festival, Ten Days on the Island, Wollongong, Paramatta, Melbourne and Chaillot in Paris.
Image above by Amber Haines
For further reviews, awards and articles:
- Shorlist announcement for the 2019 Australian Interior Design Awards
- Interview with Peta Heffernan | Liminal Spaces - Mlive
- Australian Design Review article
- Artshub Review
- Dance Magazine Review
- The Music, Review by Maxim Boon
- Dance Informa Review
- Limelight Magazine Review
- Timeout Review
- Architect, Stephen Varady Review
Stay tuned to touring dates on Dancenorth's website.