WORKS
 
   Keep Everything
 

Antony Hamilton - Chunky Move: Keep Everything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Everything works on the premise that from a single point of departure, an endless array of events can unfold when the subconscious is given permission to lead. While developing the work, there is little editing, and even less contextual analysis of the content as it unfolds.

 

In contrast, there is a conscious attempt to avoid neatly organising events into a logical and well crafted dramaturgical narrative. This approach favours the stream of consciousness as the catalyst for forms and shapes to arrive in the mind, and follow in the space.

 

Matters of taste, value and appropriateness within a particular context are all brought into question as deeper instinctive responses to basic human traits drive the creation.

 

The strange patterns and rhythms derived from this ramshackle assemblage of components, in the end, evoke a dichotomy between what has meaning and what is meaningless.

Images: Jeff Busby
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CREDITS

 

National Tour 2014

Adelaide – Vitalstatistix, 16 – 19 July
Perth – PICA, 23 – 26 July
Brisbane – Powerhouse, 30 July – 2 August
Hobart – Salamanca Arts Centre, 6 – 9 August
Sydney – Performance Space, 13 – 17 August
Melbourne – Arts House, 20 – 24 August

Toured by Performing Lines for Mobile States, with the support of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

 

World Premiere

Next Move Commission

Chunky Move Studios, Melbourne
14 – 22 June 2012

 

Director & Choreograper: Antony Hamilton
Lighting Design: Benjamin Cisterne
Sound Design: Julian Hamilton & Kim Moyes
AV Design: Robin Fox
System Design & Operation: Nick Roux
Costume Design Consultant: Paula Levis

Performers: Benjamin Hancock, Lauren Langlois, Alisdair Macindoe

 

VIDEO

 

WRITING

 

 

"WITH a bit of Einstein on the Beach over here, a spot of 2001: A Space Odyssey over there, a suggestion of wonky 1950s sci-fi film, images of sleek robotics and a sliver or two of domestic life, Keep Everything is both an eclectic treasure trove of references and utterly and beguilingly itself.

 

With only three performers and a set consisting of bits and bobs of rubbish there’s a hand-made quality to Keep Everything entirely in keeping with the original impulse of choreographer Antony Hamilton: to take dance ideas he’d previously discarded and see where they went. Where they went was somewhere much more intriguing than you might expect from airing a few ideas that didn’t made the cut.

 

Keep Everything is nothing less than a breathless (literally at many points) race through human history from the primordial swamp to a mechanistic future and back again. It may have a deceptively grungy air but is, in fact, incredibly virtuosic, highly expressive and tightly organised.

 

Often working with complex rhythms or durations that must be calibrated precisely to the micro-second the dancers – Benjamin Hancock, Lauren Langlois and Alisdair Macindoe – seamlessly evolve sounds and movements from primitive to futuristic via the quotidian stuff of everyday life: getting the dog to come in, having sex, giving birth, that sort of thing. The phrase “keep everything” takes on a multiplicity of meanings: Hamilton’s use of material; the junk strewn around that speaks of our over-stuffed material society; the need to hang on to other people; the desire to gather experiences and sensations; the need to keep making a noise, whether grunting, conversing, screaming or spewing strings of numbers. (The last sees Langlois and Macindoe in tremendous form – the Einstein moment.)

 

All this – and there’s a lot packed into a fast-flowing hour – happens to a whiz-bang sound design from Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes (The Presets), Benjamin Cisterne’s exceptional lighting design and Robin Fox’s AV design. There’s a lot of serious talent on board.

 

Best of all, Keep Everything is effortlessly witty. Not always something you can count on in contemporary dance. I’m sure I heard Langlois whisper “this isn’t working” at one point, and I hope I did. It was funny because obviously everything was going like a rocket, and funny because it was like a little ghost bobbing up from a time when Hamilton was choreographing and decided not to use this scrap of an idea.

 

The moment passed quickly and I accept I may have been mistaken. I may have misheard. But I’ll take Hamilton’s advice and, you know, keep everything.

 

Keep Everything was Chunky Move’s 2012 Next Move commission. You can’t fault their taste."

Incredibly virtuosic, highly expressive

Deborah Jones August 14 2014

 

 

"Opening with billowing smoke catching coloured flashes of lights that synchronise with thumping beats and frozen, crouching forms dimly visible through the haze, this off-kilter start to a dance performance cues the audience to expect the unexpected. Abruptly, the music and lighting changes to a harsh even white light, revealing a stark white stage littered with vaguely industrial detritus beneath the clearing smoke. From one of the piles comes a small voice, causing the two crouching forms to twitch and jerk, responding like winsomely animated figures.

 

Antony Hamilton’s choreography aims to ‘keep everything’ by providing a second life to sequences not used in previous productions, finding use for abandoned creative detritus. Using a freewheeling association of ideas, the dancers move from a primordial state, discover the human passion for organisation, explore their humanity from primate proclivities to perfect poses and then transcend this by returning to the original state and rejecting this artificial notion of order. And there are many numbers involved along the way. This may be a reviewer’s futile attempt to impose an arbitrary narrative structure and existential meaning to something ultimately without structure or meaning or simply the result of a director choreographer’s determination to ‘keep everything’ during the creative process – it is up to each audience member to decide for themselves!

 

Benjamin Hancock, Lauren Langlois and Alisdair Macindoe impress not only with physical control and response to specific choreographed direction, but with their presentation of lines that would challenge many actors more accustomed to vocal, verbal performances. Langlois particularly reveals a lovely singing voice as well as strength and flexibility while executing a surreal flow-of-consciousness series of poses. Macindoe delivers clear ideas in lecture form as well as working successfully with Hancock to produce puppetry with face. Hancock manages to keep his own facial expressions under control for the whole hour, never betraying any response to the ludicrous or strenuous physical outpourings of himself or his colleagues. The trio perform impressive sets of movements, working through concepts and motions, not necessarily in tight unison but with a unified sympathy of purpose, however startling and abstract that may become as it develops. The sequence involving Langlois, Macindoe and number patterns is a highlight that amazes both as it happens and again, later, when reflecting on just how difficult that must have been to perfect as both a movement and rapid spoken delivery piece.

 

Featuring a killer electronic soundtrack from The Presets’ Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, the pulsing, driving beat meets its match in the compelling and startling lighting design from Ben Cistern and the projection design from Robin Fox. At several points in the performance the technical aspects are the stars; dancers’ bodies existing to become more or less visible through smoke, limbs on display only to create forms with light and shadow – this never becomes dull, with masters of their art utilising bass, rhythm and disturbing feedback whines to create an intensely rich soundscape throughout.

 

Intensely developed, light-heartedly presented, with tight technical control making the most of every moment, Chunky Move brings an extraordinary explosion of ideas and dance with Keep Everything.

Chunky Move: Keep Everything

★ ★ ★ ★

Nerida Dickinson Arts Hub Online July 26 2014

 

 

"Keep Everything begins without movement. Sound crackles from speakers first on stage left and then on stage right, pulsing back and forth between our ears. The crackling becomes synth music, reminiscent of an 80s video game. Lights flash down on a pile of black rubble, foam shapes and unidentifiable objects. Smoke travels across the stage to this rubble, and there drifts upwards, giving the appearance of it being on fire.

 

Then, white lights illuminate the stage. At the back squats Lauren Langlois and Alisdair Macindoe. And there, from the pile of rubble, is the face of Benjamin Hancock greeting the audience.

 

As he speaks – asking how we are, offering a cup of tea – Langlois and Macindoe at first appear to be pre-human creatures. Cavemen or Neanderthals, perhaps. But then as we examine their rhythmic and angular movements we start to question: are they post-human? Robots, maybe? Later, Macindoe moves to the front of the stage and gestures behind him, asking us to consider “the human”. So are we watching humans after all?

 

Director and choreographer Antony Hamilton built Keep Everything after posing the questions: what if he created a work from ideas he had discarded in the past? What would it mean to take these ideas that had been left, and instead keep everything?

 

In lesser hands, this would lead to a confused assortment, but Hamilton has built a compelling and thorough structure of ideas and images that continually morphs and grows.

 

As we observe the initial duality of possibilities in the actions of these cavemen/humanoid hybrids, the three dancers pull their bodies out from these low scavenging moves. Movement begins to pass between the three like a wave as they move apart and then come together. They begin to hit one another, and this grows in intensity, until it becomes rhythmic patting. Perhaps they are collectively preparing for a race.

 

As the three circle around the stage, sliding one foot in front of the other, their cavemen muttering grows into phrases, their actions changing to match the words. “Do you want some dinner?” they ask, a thrusting arm turning into a small point. “It’s all your fault,” is yelled as they lunge, filled with accusation.

 

Keep Everything is an exhilarating and hilarious work, underpinned by strong design (sound design by Hamilton's brother Julian Hamilton with Kim Moyes, better known as the electronica duo the Presets, and lights from Benjamin Cisterne). The director incorporates scenes that range from the visually simple (when the performers stand still for minutes under white lights), to the complex (detailed choreography of the final scenes under pumping house music).

 

But even when Hamilton’s staging is seemingly simple, complexity underpins it. One such example sees Langlois and Macindoe kneel and stare out at the audience, tapping plastic tubes against the floor, but from their mouths comes a seemingly endless string of numbers, an apparent simultaneous stream of consciousness.

 

Hamilton’s cast are skilled dancers, but also compelling in their performance of the text, and as an audience we want to follow them through the work. What direction they will take in any given moment is often unforeseen, and that change never truly clear until they are completely on top of the transition.

 

It is this unpredictability from which the work derives its fun and becomes a show that examines, not only what it means to hold onto everything and what it means to be human, but also of how artists piece together their work."

Keep Everything review — rejected ideas find brilliant second life

★ ★ ★ ★

Jane Howard The Guardian July 17 2014

 

 

“What are ya thinking about?” The challenge is set and this is not a rhetorical question – comfortable audiences are about to be unsettled as contemporary meets confronting. Keep Everything is a whole body experience!

 

Melbourne-based performance company Chunky Move mashes movement with voice with technology and for 60 minutes our world evolves, devolves and revolves before us in a chaos that is disorderly ordered.

 

It has been two years since the premiere of Antony Hamilton’s Keep Everything, a work which questions whether humans can every truly find contentment in the present, and the performance at Adelaide’s AC Arts theatre clearly shows us why he is so highly regarded as a choreography and director.

 

This portrait of humanity has hints of the post-apocalyptic with a creative splash of inevitability; the human condition is profiled unapologetically.

In some regards, this is a reunion of sorts, with core players the rider for a national tour. On stage, the original cast members – Benjamin Hancock, Alisdair Macindoe and Lauren Langlois – are lithe, powerful and exquisite; this is a metamorphosis of movement. Behind the scenes, Nick Roux (system designs) and Benjamin Cisterne (lighting design) provide a presence that is an identity of its own.

 

As a reflection of life, there’s space, form, chaos, substance and oblivion, and Hamilton openly taunts: Where are we now?

 

Joint composers Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes (of The Presets) have nurtured sounds that resonate and stimulate; there is a synchronicity with the visuals that is real.

 

Thanks to this Performing Lines production, presented by Vitalstatistix and Mobile States, we are privy to a junkyard of humanity that showcases the power of the absurd and the ingenuity of the mundane."

Chunky Move’s Keep Everything

Dash Taylor Johnson In Daily July 17 2014

 

 

"IN the beginning was the word. But before the word could be spoken there was the intake of breath, the flex of the diaphragm and the raw physical act of speaking it aloud. Before those, there was the beat of the heart and the throb of hot blood through arteries to power the muscles. And before the word itself was the metaphor.

 

More than any of Antony Hamilton's recent works, the origins of Keep Everything are in language. Language and the physical act of speaking. Much of the dance originates in the thoracic diaphragm -- below the chest -- and radiates out in rhythmic and sonic waves. And the diaphragm -- the idea of the acoustic diaphragm and its capacity to convert mechanical energy into sound and sound back into mechanical energy -- is the metaphor that powers this particular work.

 

Hamilton's recent preoccupations with evolution and entropy are here, too. The world of Keep Everything is simultaneously primordial and apocalyptic. It's a double helix of a Philip Glass opera and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

 

The dancers (Benjamin Hancock, Lauren Langlois, Alisdair Macindoe) are superhuman avatars in Hamilton's universe.

 

In his program notes, Hamilton writes of his "conscious attempt to avoid neatly organising events into a logical and well-crafted dramaturgical narrative." He has achieved his aim at every level. Not just structurally -- no bookending here -- but in the smallest choreographic detail. There's hardly a repeated phrase in this dense, hour-long work, unless it's repeated in reverse. The dance alphabet itself evolves before our eyes.

 

Sound, light and movement are synesthetically connected: Benjamin Cisterne's lights throb and growl while synthesisers (by Presets duo Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes) twinkle and blaze. Keep Everything begins with an aural bonfire. It could be volcanic creation or nuclear catastrophe, experiment or war.

 

As Hancock frees himself from a mound of downstage rubbish, chattering away like one of Beckett's happiest hobos, Langlois and Macindoe stretch their biomechanical limbs behind him like fast-evolving android apes. As they rise to full height, their movements become refined and smooth. The three bodies then collide and ricochet off one another like objects in a video game. What follows is an extraordinary mash-up of physical comedy and scat singing, of manga martial arts and Terry Gilliam-style fantasia."

A primordial world that radiates in rhythmic and sonic waves

Chris Boyd The Australian June 18 2012

 

 

Darkness encases the stage as mechanical beats fill the air. The audience is kept in suspense, breath baited, anticipating the glorious reveal of contemporary dance company Chunky Move's latest work of art. Playing it for every second it's worth, choreographer Antony Hamilton keeps the audience on the edge of their seats until finally breaking through the night and into the dawn of new day.

Greeted by a post-apocalyptic scene of rubble crafted from soft rubber, the dancers reveal themselves, chanting and behaving in a manner reminiscent of prehistoric man. Keep Everything, cobbled together from pieces of other works is a ramshackle performance that crosses the stage in odd displays of emotion, robotism and unintentionally weaves a story from the beginning of time to modern man.

Performed by the incredible trio of Benjamin Hancock, Lauren Langlois and Alisdair Macindoe, each cast member brings a unique and utterly stunning layer to Hamilton's choreography. Enhanced through speech and at times song, Hamilton's story is both moving and humorous at the same time.

A great deal of joy is embedded into Keep Everything. In a mish-mash series of conflicting events and movements, Hamilton has created a story within a story and revealed the fragility of human nature and our desperate need to connect and be remembered.

Keep Everything | Chunky Move

Heather Bloom  Australian Stage June 19 2012

 

 

"Chunky Move’s Keep Everything lives up to its name – a mish-mash of many different bits and pieces choreographer Antony Hamilton has been working on, brought together in a fantastic contemporary piece for three outstanding performers.

 

The piece opens with a smoky, post-apocalyptic scene, with bits of foam littered across the stage like some sort of space debris. From the depths of a pile of stuff, (the extraordinarily flexible) Benjamin Hancock chats to the audience, while Lauren Langlois and Alisadair Macindoe crouch at the back of the stage, exhibiting quick, small movements, reminiscent of a robot short-circuiting. Hancock’s monologue segues into a two person dialogue, imitating the high pitched voice of a girl, as he rolls towards the other performers. The trio almost dance off each other, pushing and pulling, using each other’s bodies as bridges and step-ladders and chairs for the duration of the piece.

 

The performers are all outstanding, each bringing different elements to the performance. Macindoe particularly stands out - his ability to speak coherently and at length while rolling, contorting, and lifting the other performers is impressive. Hamilton achieves something that is quite difficult in dance performances - because of the combination of movement and dialogue, the performance is hilariously funny. The closing-night audience was all laughing hysterically at some of the more outlandish elements of the piece, particularly the performers’ impression of a dog, using the foam on stage.

 

There are long sections where there isn’t any dancing, which is understandable considering all three performers are constantly moving together. But the pauses are still stimulating, with different lighting and smoke effects used, mixed with interesting swatches of music - from monster noises, to white noise, to techno beats.

 

Keep Everything was commissioned and presented by Chunky Move as part of The Next Move, a program committed to nurturing the next generation of Australia’s young dance makers. After watching this performance, I think the future of contemporary dance is in safe hands."

Chunky Move: Keep Everything

Astrid Lawton Dance Australia June 23 2012