A trickle of salt
becomes a torrent
becomes a cloud
becomes a pattern
capturing breath and heartbeat
before slipping away
the perception experiment invited audiences to explore time and space in an innovative and experiential live dance performance, sound and sculptural installation. Through provocative sensorial immersion, choreographers Frankie Snowdon and Madeleine Krenek, GUTS Dance//Central Australia examined how audiences may experience the physical world, blur its edges and be offered an alternative view of how they might navigate through it.
This was the first work Snowdon and Krenek have made in Central Australia. the perception experiment premiered at the Araluen Arts Centre in 2017 and became one of only two contemporary Australian dance works to be invited to perform at the Festival Cultural de Mayo in Mexico, 2019 alongside Dancenorth. Ahead of its national tour, audiences and potential venues were able to see the performance at the Arts House, a City of Melbourne program that champions independent artists’ practice as part of Dance Massive 2019.
[the perception experiment is] highly concept-driven … we [GUTS Dance] don’t come with a narrative perspective of the body as self. We are interested in the body as a conduit for action and movement and the stripping of ego/identity to achieve this.
Frankie Snowdon, Choreographer, GUTS Dance//Central Australia
the perception experiment could be performed end-on or in-the-round. This work was an intimate experience that invited the audience to break the fourth wall by being led individually into the dance space. Shoes off, the audience found themselves standing where the dancers would be as the lights went dark and the sound installation began. What followed was a sensory experience of moving sound and a shifting landscape as the performers wound between the audience who were then invited to sit, surrounding the dance floor, becoming engrossed in an exploration of mind and movement as figures interwove in mesmerising circles of salt.
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Cast & crew
Frankie Snowdon and Madeleine Krenek
Frankie Snowdon and Madeleine Krenek
Frankie Snowdon, Madeleine Krenek, Ashleigh Musk and Kelly Beneforti
PRODUCTION MANAGER AND DESIGNER
“This beautifully created and incredibly well realised work … left each audience [member] engaged and desiring more.”Dr. Mark Crees, Araluen Cultural Precinct
“Looking down onto the white grains covering the floor, we are transported up and away into the universe above.”Tim Newth, Director, Tracks Dance Darwin
“They embody a sincere commitment to regional Australia, choosing to live, work and create in Alice Springs. This deep connection to place, amalgamated with a desire to surround themselves with practitioners who at once support, challenge and inspire their practice, ensures a rich and rigorous creative practice. Maddy and Frankie are responsive to the environment they are working in and generous contributors to the contemporary dance ecology in Australia. I applaud their courage and commitment to actively facilitating opportunities for independent artists.”Kyle Page, Artistic Director, Dancenorth
“I had the pleasure of being able to attend the sold-out school matinee and was blown away by experiencing this work surrounded by children of all ages. Their ‘whispering’ throughout was centered entirely on the work – trying to understand it, expressing amazement at what the dancers were able to physically achieve – and none of it threw the dancers. This particular show was almost better than the evening show because of the intensity of being surrounded by the children, as well as the dancers!”Liz Rogers, Performing Arts Manager, Artback NT
“The show will be adapted to our outdoor performance space on a salt lake … [and] will provide an opportunity for a regional audience to access and participate in dance performance.”Debbie Carmody, CEO Tjuma Pulka Media Aboriginal Corporation
“Our venue is often deemed too small for most professional dance companies so we’re very excited about presenting ‘the perception experiment’, a truly unique sensory work designed with an intimate space in mind. We are particularly interested in programming this beautiful and evocative work and exploring the notion of space, bringing work created in remote inland Australia to a coastal area and navigating this difference in the physical world.”Natalie Boyle, Jetty Theatre Coordinator
“Warrnambool has a thriving dance community – with an appetite to experience not just traditional forms of dance, but also contemporary masterpieces. The ability to program a work such as ‘the perception experiment’ allows us to continue to provide high quality contemporary dance pieces to our dance community, and drive our audience development of younger wandering audiences …”Xavier Dannock, Senior Venue Coordinator, Lighthouse Theatre
“We are really interested in forming new partnerships with regional presenters that provide pathways for the touring of new experimental and interdisciplinary work of ambition and scale in a rigorous and supportive environment. This partnership to present the perception experiment absolutely fits this bill.”Emma Porteus, Creative Producer, Salamanca Arts Centre
I keep seeing the biological and mechanical, the visceral mechanics of biology, cell and atoms. The physics of life.Robert Reid, Witness, March 2019