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Posted on January 20, 2015 in Artists-in-Residence
The Body as a Time Machine

Delia Brett, Co-Artistic Director of MACHiNENOiSY and Dance Centre Artist-in-Residence this season, shares some of the thoughts, images and ideas behind Time Machine, a new work featuring an ensemble of professional dancers and children:

why ask for a shape, something to discern,

why not forgive yourself of  facts and rest like a child with its toes soft in its hand

I enjoy a challenge.

Children are challenging

Children don’t question the value of dance, but I do.

Whether it’s biological preset or environmental circumstance - either way - we transform.

The body is like a time machine, a self contained unit that travels through time - stretching and from young to old.

Yet, like the name suggests, in this capsule of time we can travel, not only forwards, but into the past as well. Time can spread out like a thin veil; seem vast and expansive, while we ourselves seem fixed, stationed, on one minute point. In another instant we find ourselves curving around and past the same place until time seems folded on itself and forward and back are indeterminable.

Time Machine was inspired by our desire to push into the future, to advance notions of contemporary dance, to challenge our artistry and touch something unknown and extraordinary - some future and alien body. Ironically, while developing the work, we were surprised to find that we had created many images with clear sculptural references to Oskar Schlemmer’s work from the Bauhaus and Isamu Noguchi's work with Martha Graham. And when researching the pedagogies of child educators and philosophers we found surprising similarities in the ideas of Frobel, Hegel and Reggio Emilia to our own reckless assertions. Our desire to progress has blasted us to the past. And with an accidental and irreverent hedonism (that only contemporary artists of the 21st century western European canon can possess) we find ourselves radically inspired to travel in all directions at once - to touch everything, to be everywhere, to place everybody, young and old, in one Time Machine and press GO.


Time Machine premieres February 4-7 at Scotiabank Dance Centre as part of The Dance Centre’s Global Dance Connections series, and is presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

Photos top to bottom: rehearsal photos 1 & 2 by Delia Brett; rehearsal photo 3 by Natalie Purschwitz; Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet (1922); sketches by Delia Brett.


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