Anca Frankenhaueser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography

MIST. Anca Frankenhaeuser & Kailin Yong

12 October 2018. The Street Theatre, Canberra. Canberra Dance Theatre

Stephanie Burridge first choreographed MIST in Singapore (where she lives and works) in 2016. She came to Canberra to oversee its staging as part of the 40th anniversary celebration for Canberra Dance Theatre, where Burridge was artistic director from 1978 to 2001. Its original cast was Kailin Yong, violinist and composer, and Yarra Ileto, dancer. Yarra Ileto was unable to come to Canberra and Anca Frankenhaeuser, who had danced in many CDT productions during the years of Burridge’s directorship, took on the dancer’s role.

The program notes stated that MIST is ‘A duet for two performers in the tradition of a dance pas de deux—but one is a dancer and the other a musician.’ What to expect? Well it was the most moving and stunningly beautiful work I have seen for years. This was in part due to Kailin Yong, who played his violin while sitting, standing, walking and even lying down (and part of the thrill was that it appeared as though he was playing live); and to Frankenhaeuser, who danced and acted out her role from deep within her body and heart. But in part it was also Burridge’s exceptional concept and the way in which she brought it to the stage.

As the work began Kailin Yong was lying on the ground, violin poised. Frankenhaeuser entered from an upstage wing making her way towards him. She was blindfolded and tentatively worked her way across the stage, gesturing in ways that suggesting listening, querying, wondering. On reaching him she moved around and over him and at one stage lay down beside him and placed her head on his chest. Did she know him? Was she listening to his heartbeat?

Anca Frankenhaueser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography

Later Frankenhaeuser removed the blindfold and her thoughts about her partner became stronger or more obvious. All was shown through her body whether through her often powerful, or sometimes timid movements; or through her facial expression and her gestures. Kailin Yong stood apart at times and played his music at her. She danced at him at times, throwing a leg high in the air towards him. But at other times they were close together, more intimately involved.

Anca Frankenhaueser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography
Anca Frankenhaueser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography

In a third manifestation of her character, Frankenhaeuser took a piece of white tulle. She used it to divide the space between her and her partner. She used it as a decorative item as she seemed to conduct a conversation with herself and with us, becoming more irrational and excited as time passed. She danced with the tulle tossing it, throwing it. And then she sank to the ground and was covered by it as her partner slowly came to her side.

Anca Frankenhaueser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography

Anca Frankenhaueser in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography

Anca Frankenhaueser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography

What a dancer! What a musician! What a pas de deux! A life before us!

Michelle Potter, 13 October 2018

All photos, including featured image: Anca Frankenhaeuser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018.  © Art Atelier Photography

Anca Frankenhaueser & Kailin Yong in MIST, 2018. Photo: © Art Atelier Photography

Dance diary. October 2013

  • Stephanie Burridge

It was a pleasure to catch up with Stephanie Burridge in Canberra in early October. Currently a permanent resident of Singapore, Burridge was back in Canberra to work with GOLD, Canberra Dance Theatre’s group of performers over the age of 55. As the longest serving former director of Canberra Dance Theatre, Burridge was invited to return to restage a work she made for CDT in 1988, Something to Remember. I was not in town to see a performance but my Canberra Times article, which gives the back story, is below amongst the list of press articles for October.

Stephanie Burridge and Ravenna Tucker in 'Requiem', 2002. Photo: Phillip Tan

Stephanie Burridge and Ravenna Tucker in Burridge’s Requiem, 2002. Photo: Phillip Tan

Burridge, who is married to the first Singaporean director of the Singapore Arts Festival, continues to choreograph and perform. She teaches Dance and Contextual Studies at LaSalle College of the Arts and Singapore Management University and is series editor for the Routledge publishing company’s Dance in Asia and the Pacific. To date Burridge has edited books on dance in Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Australia and Taiwan.

  • Dancing on the Piazza Castello, Turin

Piazza Castello, Turin, October 2013

It’s always surprising when and where dance happens. This performance was taking place on the Piazza Castello in Turin very early on a misty Sunday morning in October.

  • Reed Luplau

News of Reed Luplau and his work with Lar Lubovitch came to me from a colleague in the form of a program from a recent season by the Lubovitch company in Washington DC. Here is a link to the program. I look forward to seeing more of Luplau’s own choreography at some stage. I really enjoyed the only one of his choreographic works I have seen, which I wrote about way back in 2009.

  • Press for October

‘A welcome, sinking feeling’. Review of Michael Francis Willoughby in Elohgulp, Jigsaw Theatre Company. The Canberra Times, 1 October 2013, ARTS, p. 6. Online version.

‘Bendy, bawdy and brilliant’. Review of EMPIRE, Spiegelworld. The Canberra Times, 12 October 2013, p. ARTS 22. Online version.

‘From Russia, with no love’. Review of Swan Lake. Russian National Theatre Ballet, The Canberra Times, 15 October 2013. Online version.

‘Burridge conjures golden performance’. Article on Stephanie Burridge and her work for Canberra Dance Theatre’s GOLD group. The Canberra Times, 18 October 2013. Online version.

Michelle Potter, 30 October 2013