Weather: A Downpour of Dance from Down Under

© Photo: Heidrun Löhr

Weather. It affects our mood, dress, food, activities, sports, conversations, architecture, and our identity. Everybody talks about it, but nobody ever does anything about it. Until now.

Australia’s Lucy Guerin tackles the human body's reaction to the tides, sun, wind, and rain – powerful yet ephemeral forces that shape our lives. She says, “… growing up on a farm, there was this strong connection to climate … being affected by natural, uncontrollable forces. The weather had a real impact on our lives. But I think even living in cities it’s amazing how dependent and attached and in tune we are with the weather. It’s probably the main thing about the natural world that we really are connected to. I thought it would be a great topic to explore choreographically. I have a real love for pure choreography and dance. So in Weather I have a subject that allows me to really explore movement, direction, force and emotion.”

“Heavy weather: cloudy with a chance of plastic bags.” (The Age, Melbourne, October 12, 2012) In the rehearsal studio, Guerin's six dancers explored everyday objects that reproduce weather effects, and one remains: plastic bags. They are a potent visual element (a universal symbol of First World consumer excess) as well as part of the choreography. Like non-biodegradable snowflakes, the bags drift to the ground, toys for the dancers to play with, toss up, roll in, and slide through. There is a purity in Weather, with clean lines and precise rhythms balancing the sense of randomness created by the plastic bags. Finally, it’s all about the mesmerizing bodies onstage. They move about the space in waving lines. They are leaves in the wind. They are the wind itself. They are even gods amongst the clouds. Ultimately, they are extremely talented dancers who perform with a beautifully understated intensity.

See a video excerpt from Weather, and an interview with Lucy Guerin.

Lucy Guerin Inc. performs Weather in the Studio on Thursday November 7, Friday November 8, and Saturday November 9 at 8 p.m.


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