Kate Harman Breaks Boundaries In THREE From Australasian Dance Collective

Published in Arts  

'THREE', a triple showcase of Australasian Dance Collective (ADC) company artists, will make its second ever appearance this March.

Cass Mortimer Eipper, Gabrielle Nankivell and Kate Harman will present their works – each different, each unique and each willing to create connection and spark conversation.

'THREE' aims to be a reflection on Australasian Dance Collective's commitment to producing and sharing new and invigorating dance works.

Cass, Gabrielle and Kate have all presented their talents far and wide, within Australia and around the world.

Kate Harman is the founding member of Gold Coast company The Farm. With The Farm, Kate has created the works 'Glass Child', 'Cockfight', 'The Ninth Wave' and the Helpmann Award-winning 'TIDE'.

Her practice currently focuses on authenticity and connection in the context of performance. Over the years, Kate's work has come about in various forms – for example performance, installation, durational performance, documentary theatre – as a result of years working in Germany.

Here, Kate gives us a little insight into what she'll be bringing to 'THREE' this year.

Tell us a little bit about the work you’ll be bringing to 'THREE'?
To be honest all the info you need is in the ridiculously long title ('Something There Is That Doesn’t Love A Wall') which is definitely there to get you into the thinking behind the work. With that said the work is really about connection and how we create boundaries around ourselves to protect ourselves but over time those boundaries can become our prisons. And we inevitably need to break them down in order to grow and expand. The work is really a journey towards boundlessness.

And why do you think it fits well within this event?
Contemporary dance is such a diverse art form with a very broad range, and in ‘THREE’, Amy Hollingsworth, ADC’s Artistic Director, is really trying to share all the possibilities of contemporary dance with their audience. So with my work you will get to see the dancer in a way you may not have seen them before. As an audience you get to experience such a wide range of work in one night.

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How does your creative process begin?
My work is really informed by the people in it. I’m interested in the humanity of the performers more than the technical aesthetics that can sometimes dominate dance works. So I begin with a lot of improvisation and sharing of thoughts and experiences and then slowly craft what comes through those improvisations and conversations. Together from the time in the studio with the dancers the work emerges.

In particular, how did it begin when putting together the work for this show?
I walked into the studio with only two things, a quote from a Robert Frost poem (which inevitably became the title of the work) and the intention that this work would be a living process for the dancer. Meaning that the themes of the work are a process that the dancers fall deeper into with each rehearsal and each performance. Then we did a lot of improvising, shaping and sharing. I’m so grateful to the dancers for their openness and vulnerability in the process and I believe that comes through in the work.

What, to you, is the most distinct power within the art of dance?
The kinaesthetic response you can create with the audience. When you mix that in a form that everyone can connect through you are not just showing an emotion you get to viscerally share that with the audience. Through that you can practise empathy and see/feel yourself in the dance and dance does this by bypassing the mind. Which for me is the goal because often, our minds can keep us from the moment and from experiencing life (it’s one of those ways we can armour or create a boundary around ourselves).

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And how are you hoping audiences respond to your contribution to 'THREE'?
In the work the dancers are working to stay open to fully share themselves. I hope the work does the same for the audience. That even for those 30 minutes, we are open to one another in the room and we feel more root and more connected.

This is the second iteration of 'THREE' after the successful inaugural event in May, 2021. What does it feel like to be involved in it?
I’m super honoured to be involved, to work with such amazing performers who have contributed so much of themselves to the performance. I'm excited to share the work and for it to be seen by an alternative audience to my work and that with the Gold Coast company I work with, The Farm. Our work is often site specific or for small, intimate spaces, so it has been exciting to create something for a larger stage.

And what, if anything, can you reveal about the works from Cass and Gabrielle?
At the moment I don’t know anything about the works that they have been making. I’m really excited to be sharing the programme with Gabrielle who has always been an inspiration and is a dear friend who I’ve worked alongside for a number of projects and with Cass who is brilliant and from a different lineage of contemporary dance so the evening should be wonderfully full.

'THREE' is on at Queensland Performing Arts Centre 16-19 March.



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