Enrapt – Performance/Installation

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Photos by Charles Zuber and Renata Buziak

On Sunday evening at the Mooloomba Reserve, Jan Baker-Finch danced, accompanied by music played by Nicholas Ng:

“I was playing a Chinese pipe with an electronic tanpura (long necked plucked lute) drone for Jan’s entrance dance, erhu (2-string violin) and pipa (4-stringed lute) during Enrapt. And a drum, woodblock and gong during Jan’s garbage dance.”

Jan’s practice focuses on Eurythmy, a style of dance associated with Rudolph Steiner, in which movement is harmonious and interpretive – based on and in response to the accompanying music. Nicholas is a composer, performer and full-time Research Fellow at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, and is interested in the healing properties of music.

The audience watched as a ‘garden’ created out of rows of trees in pots was transformed by movement, light and music into an otherworldly, animated painting. Jan was the ‘scrim’ upon which projections of Renata’s biochromes were shone, and she moved in and out of colour, texture and line, continuously becoming and morphing into beautiful evocations of the natural world performed out of doors for the first time — Encore!

Jan says, “The elements of Enrapt are relatively simple: I become a moving screen for and respond to the forms and colours of images projected onto me as sympathetically as possible, while also taking in the rhythms, mood and colours of the music.

“As a performer, however, doing Enrapt is a singular experience. I have found I really have to be at the service of the images, and not take up a lot of space as the capital ‘P’ performer.

“One of the delicious things about taking Enrapt out of theatres or galleries and into the outdoor environment on Straddie is the added level of unpredictability. How would the (Super) moon, the shadows of passing clouds, the lights of neighbouring houses… affect the projections? And the wind? How much would it influence the movement, the soundscape?  Visually too, how could we turn a grassy open-ended reserve into a performance space – but with as little interference as possible? It all calls on an active response to the moment, and also has an even more ephemeral quality because the conditions can’t be repeated. Such a performance really asks you to be wide awake in the moment.”

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