Michelle Ryan started dancing when she was four years old, and went on to be one of Australia’s most celebrated dancers.
At 30, at the peak of her career, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although MS has irreparably damaged Michelle’s physical prowess, it cannot undermine a lifetime of physical artistry and creative expression.
In Intimacy, Michelle shares her most private thoughts and feelings in a very public way. Made in collaboration with Torque Show with a live score by Lavender Vs Rose, this dance theatre work is a fictional stage for Michelle's real-life daily experiences. A world where highly awkward, absurdly humorous and deeply moving moments manifest in unexpected ways. A world where other people aren’t sure where to look and how to help.
As Michelle becomes increasingly vulnerable, she is both more isolated and more in need of the help of others. Who will take this dance with her?
'Michelle's fragile beauty belies the power and strength within her body. Her presence illuminates the stage.' (Choreographer, Meryl Tankard)
Michelle Ryan had not danced for ten years when she was invited by renowned Belgian choreographer Alain Platel to perform as the guest artist in the 2011 Brisbane Festival season of Out of Context for Pina by Les Ballet C de la B. After seeing her perform, Platel asked Michelle why she had stopped. This question, from one of the world’s leading contemporary dance makers, had a profound effect on Michelle. Intimacy is her response.
Created and Devised by Torque Show in collaboration with Michelle Ryan and Lavender Vs Rose
Torque Show are Vincent Crowley, Ross Ganf and Ingrid Weisfelt
Lavender Vs Rose are Emma Bathgate and Simon Eszeky
Directed by Ingrid Weisfelt and Ross Ganf
Performed by Michelle Ryan, Vincent Crowley, Emma
Bathgate and Simon Eszeky
Lighting Design John Ford
Set and Costume Design Adrienne Chisholm
Film and photography by Rachel Roberts and Justin Bernhaut