Ian has been fortunate to have collaborated with Garry Stewart and Australian Dance Theatre on two of their productions: Be Your Self (2010) and Proximity (2012), each of which premiered at the corresponding Adelaide Festival and then toured extensively overseas.
Garry Stewart’s Be Your Self reveals the precarious stability of the concept of self as the work steps through the conventions we use to construct a singular and consistent notion of ‘I’. In an analysis of selfhood, Stewart situates the body at the centre of his inquiry. In Be Your Self the Australian Dance Theatre dancers are transformed into erupting, powerful, creative entities projecting a plethora of physical images and impressions set to an unpredictable, cartoonish, electronic score.
In Proximity Garry Stewart and Paris-based video engineer Thomas Pachoud (with the support of didascalie.net) worked in collaboration to create a dialogue for dance and real-time video manipulation. The work is primarily an investigation into the body’s interactive participation in the act seeing the world with reference to neurological body maps and the French philosopher Merleau Ponty’s phenomenology of perception.
In each case, Ian provided text that was used in the production. In addition, he ran workshops for the dancers that explored the anatomy and neuroscience of body sense. During the development of Proximity, Ian and Garry had extensive email conversations about these areas of research which formed the basis of text used in the production. You can read the correspondence here.