In 'Forgery' by Australasian Dance Collective (ADC), you could almost list 'the unknown' as the central character.
Each performance of the show is a clean slate for everyone bearing witness, as a computer asserts its control and unleashes its algorithms on the six-person cast, in a different way each time. When you put technology in charge of humans. . . Anything can happen.
'Forgery' is developed by award-winning Australian dancer, sound engineer, choreographer and creative coder Alisdair Macindoe.
Australasian Dance Collective company artist and 'Forgery' cast member Josephine Weise joined the collective in 2019 and in that same year was nominated as a 'Dancer To Watch' in Dance Australia's Critics' Choice.
Here, we chat with her about her involvement in 'Forgery', playing as part of Brisbane Festival. What has it been like, so far, to be involved with ‘Forgery’?
It’s been a wonderful challenge; simultaneously freeing and impossible as Alisdair put it. I have a strong and whacky imagination, so it’s a lot of fun to utilise it as a way to execute seemingly impossible tasks. How did it all begin?
Alisdair Macindoe was commissioned by ADC to make a work on the six dancers of the company in 2020. Luckily the A.I.D programme (Artificially Intelligent Dances) he and Josh Mu developed made for a very COVID-friendly creative practice during the lockdowns as only a computer was needed on our end to run the programme. How do you prepare for a show that will be different each time?!
Staying open to all possibilities, prioritising listening and practising delivery of an idea with purity and clarity. What kinds of things does it challenge within you as a dancer?
Keeping things simple. With the bombardment of information that we accumulatively layer, it becomes necessary to execute the tasks with simplicity and clarity. It helps me to understand the complexity of information in my body and make this clear for audiences too.
'Forgery' - Image © David Kelly
And why do you think audiences will be drawn to the work?
People love watching other people. I think it will be captivating for others to see how the information is interpreted and watch a group of people with individual comprehensions of an idea work together to problem solve. What makes the show a good fit for Brisbane Festival?
The fact that each show is unique makes it perfect for Brisbane Festival attendees. You can come and watch again and again and experience a totally new performance outcome. On the theme of technology/computers, what do you think is the single best thing technology has given us?
Readily available information at our disposal. How about the worst?
The fact that everything is perpetuated forever, the lack of privacy, and the addiction to constant stimulation! What is the main thing you’ve learned so far, being part of ‘Forgery’?
It’s opened my mind to how many ways things can be interpreted. It's also teaching me how to multitask effectively and how to construct a performance as an individual and as a part of a group. 'Forgery' plays Queensland Performing Arts Centre 22 September-2 October.