The Australian Embassy Bangkok and the Dance Arts Foundation present Ersatz: a contemporary dance and multimedia performance installation led by choreographer James Batchelor in collaboration with a team of artists from Australia, Thailand, France and the United Kingdom.
In this presentation the audience can move freely between a series of three distinct performance installations. Each of these installations has a different thematic focus and will make use of contemporary dance and digital mediums in a number of ways. We invite the audience to choose their own pathway through the space as each part of the performance unfolds.
Ersatz has been made across residencies in Australia, France and the United Kingdom with support from the ACT government, Victorian Government, City of Melbourne, Dr Phillip Law and the Victorian College of the Arts. This presentation at Paragon Cineplex comes out of a three-week intensive development at Bangkok Dance with new collaborators Navinda Pachimsawat Vadtanakovint (Lordfai) and Pongpassakorn Kob Kulthirathum. (Kobored)
Choreographer: James Batchelor (Australia)
Performers: Emma batchelor (Australia), James Batchelor (Australia), Kara Burdack (Australia), Amber McCartney Australia) and Navinda Pachimsawat Vadtanakovint (Thailand)
Digital Artist: Pongpassakorn Kob Kulthirathum (Thailand)
Sound Artist: Morgan Hickinbotham (Australia)
Associate Artists: Madeline Beckett (Australia), Gilles Bruni (France), Rebecca Lee (Australia) and Simon Pascoe (UK).
Ersatz is about developing an understanding of our interactions with the environment by examining the relationship between body and space. It investigates how ‘space’ becomes ‘place’ both as a mental and physical process. The project aims to get people thinking critically and creatively about these ideas, reflecting on the present and future environmental challenges we face.
The creative aim of the work is to develop an understanding of how we perceive the concept of space. One such idea as described by Dr Jill Bolte Taylor in My Stroke of Insight regards space as a single living entity, where both body and environment are seen only as atoms and molecules. The physical parameters of space in this idea are not defined consciously. Yet so commonly we preserve an egocentric separation of body and space, as John Gray suggests in Thoughts on Humans and Animals: ‘Among the imaginary constructions created by the intellect working in the service of the will, perhaps the most delusive is the view it gives us of ourselves – as continuing unified individuals.’ These conceptual ideas frame how we interact with the environment, which in view of our current global challenges has significant and timely societal relevance. An important premise for this work then is investigating how ‘space’ becomes ‘place’ both psychologically as mentioned above and physically through direct manipulation of our environment. It is important that the public engages in this analysis, such that as a society we can work towards a more responsible and sustainable way of living.
Section 1 (performed by James Batchelor) imagines a toxic environment where movement and bodily functions are restricted. The digital artwork in this section draws attention to the body's effect on the environment on a molecular level.
Section 2 (performed by Navinda Pachimsawat Vadtanakovint) is an interstellar live camera feed. The performer is describing her body and environment to an alien species from a parallel universe.
Section 3 (performed by Emma Batchelor, Kara Burdack and Amber McCartney) documents a team of construction workers trapped in an eternal process of environmental engineering and manipulation.
We would like to acknowledge the support of the Australian Embassy Bangkok, Dance Arts Foundation, ACT government, Victorian Government, City of Melbourne, Dr Phillip Law, Victorian College of the Arts, Wallapa Pachimsawat, Bangkok Dance, Live for Viva, Kor.Bor.Vor, Pargon Cineplex and QL2 Centre for Youth Dance.