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Annette Carmichael Projects

 Company / Producer name:  Annette Carmichael Projects

Production Title:                      The Beauty Index

Contact Person:                      Annette Carmichael

Contact Email:                      annette@annettecarmichael.com.au

Company Website:               www.annettecarmichael.com.au

Show Status:                          Ready to tour

Genre:                                      Dance / Interdisciplinary


Dance by ordinary men doing extraordinary things.

 Humanity is on the brink of change. In a solemn grey world, men strive to find the power of beauty to curtail the spread of fear and preserve their compassion for each other. Exploring ideas of vulnerability, strength, terror and beauty, this contemporary dance work was created with men from Denmark and Albany in 2017. Most had no prior dance experience, for many of them, the experience was transformational. The choreography is powerful. Sequences of complex polyrhythms are combined with slower, ritualistic gestures of restrained intensity. The performance reaches its peak when two soloists, one professional dancer (delicate and birdlike) and one community soloist (contorted and quavering) collide in a deft and fierce duet filled with soaring leaps and effortless lifts. Supported by an ensemble of men, the performance has a sense of precariousness as they constantly seek to balance the elements of their world, uniting and fragmenting until a final, suspended moment. The visual design, by award winning artists, Kevin Draper and Indra Geidans, feature black and white striped poles and branches. Held and moved by the dancers, they provide a visual framework linking into pyramid structures or stacking to create forests and nests. Original sound design by James Gentle evokes a sense of urgent vigil and solidarity. We take 5 – 10 men from your community and train them over one week to perform with 5 members from the original cast. This work challenges stereotypes about men and offers a transformational experience for community members. Research attached to the original project provides evidence that this project encourages creative expression, design-thinking and social connection. Shortlisted for a 2018 Australian Dance Award. 

 This dance work was first presented in a derelict mill site in Denmark, 2017. It was remounted in a proscenium arch at Albany Entertainment Centre in 2018. The experience is designed to support audiences who have limited exposure to contemporary dance. We include the following elements: • a pre-performance introduction from Annette Carmichael that guides audiences on how to view the work. • For children who attend with their parents, we provide a 15 minute on stage active debrief where they explore the set and get to re-enact the more intense parts of the performance. This encourages conversation amongst the watching parents. • The night ends with a party in the foyer, with live music from multi-instrumentalist James Gentle. This is a chance to celebrate with your community performers and discuss the experience further. 

Review quotes:

“Masterpiece at the Mill” Denmark Bulletin “Carmichael, a veteran in regional community contemporary dance projects, has an acute and profound knowledge of her context. From her spoken introduction describing how to watch the work, to the detail and precision executed by her team of dancers, Carmichael’s command of the form was palpable in this season.” Amy Wiseman, SeeSaw Magazine