Conceived by Felicity Bott, Hal’cyon was Tasdance’s first work as part of Dark Mofo. It was a 14-hour dance performance installation of sustained beauty and intensity, fueled by the solo dance offerings of over 40 professional, mature and youth performers. It took place June 20-21, 4:50pm – 7:40am (sunset to sunrise) at the Odeon Theatre, Hobart. The press release:
“Hal’cyon brings calm to the Dark Mofo storm“
In the cliffe of a ponde of occean, Alcion, a see foule, in wynter maketh her neste and layeth egges in vii days and sittyth on brood … seuen dayes.
This is Hal’cyon, Tasdance’s first performance in Dark Mofo for 2016.
Hal’cyon is a 14-hour dance performance installation of sustained beauty and intensity, in which a single performer nests on an ocean of sound, light, and imagery. The solo is comprised of dancers of all ages and ability, passing the dance between them in a rite of passage through the night of the winter solstice.
The work is closely aligned with an established aspect of the new Artistic Director, Felicity Bott’s dance practice, and is very different from anything Tasdance has attempted before. “It’s wonderful to be able to bring some of the more hybrid elements of my practice to Tasdance and Dark Mofo. It’s not an opportunity that presents itself often, and I am extremely excited about this. Hal’cyon brings professional contemporary dance and relational aesthetics together, that is, it is art that brings people together in a shared activity, collectively building meaning.” Felicity says. About the work, she says
“To me, the Hal’cyon bird is a shared representation of calmness, wisdom and determination…we build this together, one minute at a time from sunset to sunrise on the night of the solstice. I am absolutely blown away by the depth of community response to the call out for participation. Performers are coming from all over Tasmania and some from interstate to take part.’
There are more than 40 dancers from all ages, experience and background registered to perform as the Hal’cyon with Tasdance, including dancers from local dance companies and schools, such as Second Echo, Drill and Ogilvie High School. “Part of our mission is to be a driver and enabler of dance development and participation in Tasmania, and through Hal’cyon we have been able to connect with a really large and diverse group of dancers in the State” says Felicity.
The audience is as important to the piece as the dancers. Audience members move in and out at their own will throughout the night, attending the nesting dancer as if keeping vigil through a storm. They can choose to come at any time during the night, and stay for as long as they choose.
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters
Marking the turning of world and tides, Hal’cyon passes through the dark threshold of the year’s longest night to arrive, altered, at dawn.
Audience members can choose to come at any time throughout the performance and stay for as long as they choose.”