She loved my Australian voice and my humour, she encouraged me to switch rapidly between the comic and the dramatic. The only thing I knew was that I needed independence and the next challenge which, somewhat ironically turned out be Lindsay Kemp’s version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. At the age of seven she had been made to stand on pointes in second position while the teacher forced her insteps out into the desired high arch. There cannot be a point in life when one ceases to learn from other people or from what life brings to us in terms of experience or feeling. Pina Bausch’s theatre was concerned with intensities and the expression of deep feelings. William Peterson , Flinders University. There was no rehearsal, no preparation at all; someone had been arrested at the airport in Torrino, for wearing a pink suit, I think.

I visited the War Museum in Canberra and was profoundly moved by it. Neither did her hips accommodate to the years of forced turnout. The instructions are frequently ridiculous, as the girl, net in hand, is instructed how to dance out the capture and eventual release of a large shrimp while acting cute for the audience. Dancers and choreographers must content themselves with what can be done in four weeks or sometimes less. They see something which has not yet appeared clearly to us, a possibility that has not been yet realised by us. There is no happy ending here, only the dancer and the audience alone together, in the dark.

As we worked Pina Bausch sat on the floor and read a newspaper. Olga Spessivtseva was a victim of this very madness—I survived to make a dance about it.

Nicholas Zurbrugg RT post: His photographic and video images created the physical world that commented on, shaped, encased, and made the dance possible.

At the time, I was still under contract to The Australian Ballet and once again Dame Peggy came to the gankard, ensuring my release from this obligation and allowing me to pursue my journey. Then I would bring my own judgment to bear, and think how my own decisions might have been different from Pina’s.


Meryl Tankard

I had been Pina’s obliging instrument and she had taught me so much, but as all young people are prone to do, I was beginning to ask my own questions. Peta Tait has brought together a fascinating collection of essays about a range of live performances which include dance Meryl Tankard, Chrissie Parrott, Company in Spaceperformance Sydney Front, Open City, Lyndal Jones, Peter King, Stelarccommunity theatre Death Defying Theatrecontemporary circus, professional wrestling, Mardi Gras dance parties, butoh-derived work Tess de Quincey, Yumi Umiumare and Tony Yapamateur theatricals in the early years of the Swan River Colony, 19th century ethnological shows and even mainstream theatre John Bell.

Her movements are jerky, defeated, those of someone struggling in vain to discipline an uncooperative body. Perhaps as a consequence of this, she developed a philosophy of artistic education and insisted in her book that young dancers altogether need informed and sensible teaching, an excellent general education, and above all, loving and supportive parents. She had asked me to put dirt in my hair, to wear no make up and forget the ballerina’s desire for pristine perfection or the desire to shine.

meryl tankard essay

Yet this is no autobiography of Spessivtzeva — we know little of her actual inner emotional life. I am sure it is like that for most of us, we all have to keep moving, keep changing, find new doors to open. She had found out that this lady who was such a magnificent artist was also a great teacher.

For the first time since I had come home, I felt connected to my country.

meryl tankard essay

But I am not convinced that the only task of a creative artist is to make the audience feel comfortable. In its silliness, it is also vaguely menacing. In Lindsay Kemp’s company everyone was a star! It was this early experience of physical hardship that successfully challenged my instinct of survival and inspired Two Feet and enabled me to perceive, and I hope, render the mryl of the mix between dedication to essaj art and hatred for it: They see something which has not yet appeared clearly to us, a possibility that has not been yet realised by us.


I had the best parents an ewsay could ever wish for. It became a kind of secret discipline: In this respect, then, the book throws out a challenge to performance makers as well as analysts: What I received from her, the gift of her teaching, changed the course of my life and set me on a path of learning that will only end with me. But there I was, plotting against the selfsameness of the performance, trying to make it merul perfect and trying also not to be too conspicuous about it.

Meryl Tankard revisits Two Feet, the tragic story of a dancer’s perfectionism

And this is when I really began to understand what was so powerful about performance, and how each decision made could change the work as it developed without destroying its integrity.

Write an article and join a growing community of more than 84, academics and researchers from 2, institutions. But is it what we artists are really supposed to be about? All three of these highly respected personalities from the world of dance were long time colleagues and friends of Dame Peggy, people whom she relied on for support and who shared her vision for the development of dance in our country.

With ideas of ritual, I made VX for him and used his war service number as a title for the composition. Here was an artistic sensibility entirely new to me.

Contributor: Meryl Tankard » Ausdance | Dance Advocacy

Not only the natural beauty of Australia, but also its history. Moreover, the work had drained me and I was becoming burdened with an idea about myself, or the persona that had been created during the performance.

Perhaps it was too confronting, too difficult. When his company came to Australia in I went see it every night.