Performance Studies: Musicking and dancing in the first person / Pina Bausch at the Adelaide festival
Alisa Bernhard: Beyond the notes, beyond the steps: musicking and dancing in the first person
In the context of Indigenous or folk traditions where dancing always happens with music and where there may not even be a conceptual/linguistic distinction between “music/song” and “dance”, it is frequently claimed that music and dance are inseparable. But what about in the context of, for example, Western art music or classical ballet, where music and dance are separate disciplines? The literature that analyses choreomusical relationships—the relationships between dance and music, mainly of the Western performing tradition—by default defines music and dance respectively as sounding and visual art forms. The consequence is that the difference between the two disciplines is reduced to a matter of two different sensory modalities, and the question becomes, “how does aural sensory input interact with visual sensory input when music and dance happen simultaneously on stage”? My aim is to shift the focus away from what music and dance sounds and looks like, towards the experience of the practitioner, and to ask the question “what exactly is the difference between dancing and musicking in the Western performing tradition?”
Alisa Bernhard completed her Bachelor and Masters of Music in piano performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her Masters dissertation explored the ontology of the musical work through the lens of performers and performances. She is currently a PhD candidate based at the Conservatorium, working with supervisors David Larkin and Amanda Card.
Dr Amanda Card: The impact of 1980 in 1982: Pina Bausch at the Adelaide festival.
This paper is part of a larger project on the influence of Pina Bausch on Australia’s dance and performance making community. Originally presented at the Launceston ADSA conference in 2019, the paper briefly explores the presentation, reception and impact of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch at the 1982 Adelaide Festival in South Australia. Concentrating on the work 1980, which was presented alongside Kontakthof and Bluebeard, it places the experience of seeing Bausch in the context of this festival, exploring the work and its reception through those who were in it and those who saw it, including two Australian artists, Virginia Baxter and Keith Gallasch, both interviewed in 2019.
Dr Amanda Card is a senior lecturer with Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. Her primary research is in movement studies, dance history and theories of embodiment. Her most recent publication is “Body and Embodiment” for the Routledge Handbook of Re-enactment Studies (2020). Other current research is on modernism, transnationalism and women in Australian dance (1920s-1960s).