GOLD was originally part of a ten week performance project for over 55s in early 2011, in association with the National Library of Australia and Belconnen Arts Centre, and supported by the ACT Government under the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program. But everyone had such an excellent time they continue to explore movement and choreography to stimulate heart, mind and soul.
Leaning, Rippling, Breathing
Leaning, Rippling, Breathing is a new short work by choreographer James Batchelor in collaboration with the Canberra Dance Theatre GOLDs and accompanied by an original sound design by Morgan Hickinbotham.
Inspired by the style and principles of Wiener Moderne (Viennese Modernism) and Ausdruckstanz (expressive dance), this piece emerges from a workshop in which James shared with the dancers his research on modern dance pioneer Gertrud Bodenwieser. Fleeing from the Nazi occupation of Vienna in 1938, Bodenwieser emigrated to Australia and produced a lasting legacy that has echoed across several generations. Referencing the choreographies of The Blue Danube and The Waterlilies as taught to him by Ruth Osborne and Eileen Kramer, James has reimagined this corporeal vocabulary through a contemporary lens.
This performance offers a contemplative addendum to James’ full length work Shortcuts to Familiar Places (2022). It echoes the choreography and structure of James’ solo Breathing Gesture, expanding the notion of the embodied archive as an intergenerational constellation.
Premiered at Canberra Theatre Centre on 29 April 2023. Performed at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday 7 May 2023 for Australian Dance Week.
Performed as part of Out of the Frame.
GOLD performed No Regrets as part of A Stellar Lineup at Belconnen Arts Centre, December 2022. No Regrets is a celebratory expose of the joy of life and living, presented in the full-colour, full-frontal approach only GOLD can take. Dreamt up during the pandemic, No Regrets speaks to living a life free of restrictions, with GOLD (Growing Old Disgracefully) living up to their name.
Choreography: Liz Lea and company.
Film and Costume: Liz Lea
Music: Frank Sinatra, Billy Eilish, Edith Piaf, Right Said Fred, Joan Baez.
The Green Fuse
Performed as part of CDT’s 40th Anniversary.
The Green Fuse is based on is based on the Dylan Thomas poem The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower. It’s about our connection with all things in the universe through the force of energy that permeates everything.
The Green Fuse was a special commission with Carol Brown from Wales, thanks to the relationship Philip Piggin built with Carol while he was dancing and teaching in Wales.
Carol is the founder director of the award winning Dynion Male Dance Company who have toured to 11 different countries. She has worked in Europe, Africa and Asia Minor including on the Adugna Project street children in Ethiopia. She has instigated and organised cultural exchanges for Welsh groups with partners in Germany, Lithuania, Uganda, South Africa Spain and Scotland. She recently set up the Troy Boyz company who perform street dance to Greek classics and the Dragons Heart & Dragons Soul Company of diverse capacity artists who dance meaningful full length pieces unaided by volunteers.
Circles in a Circle
In the Village
Performed in Great Sport! at the National Museum of Australia:
Martin del Amo
None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives
First and Last
Gerard van Dyck
Dr Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM
Rolling in the Deep
Something to Remember
Dr Stephanie Burridge
Life is a Work of Art
Performed at the National Gallery of Australia, accompanied by David Pereira and Francis Gilfedder on cello and didgeridoo.
Original choreography by Ruth St Denis (1906), reinterpreted by Liz Lea.
Jade Tyas Tunngal
Liz Lea, with assistance from Philip Piggin
This is not an exhaustive list.
Members of the GOLD group attended and performed in a Twinning project at Panpapanpalya 2018, which was the 2nd joint congress of daCi (dance and the Child international) and the World Dance Alliance Global Education and Training Network. Panpapanpalya 2018 was one of the world’s largest gatherings of dancers, dance educators, and artists of all ages. It generated new thoughts and ideas for dance learning and teaching in the 21st century. Panpapanpalya 2018 was centered on four interwoven themes: dance, gathering, generations, learning. These themes, summarised by the Aboriginal Kaurna word Panpapanpalya, honour Australia’s rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance practices, as well as indigenous dance cultures from around the world.