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Matthew Day: Intermission

Photo by James Brown

PACT centre for emerging artists presents MATTHEW DAY: INTERMISSION at the pact Theatre, Erskineville.

INTERMISSION is the final instalment in my solo series TRILOGY. The three part solo project developed between 2009-2012 was conceived to allow the scope and time to rigorously research an intense interest in durational choreographic forms and the body as a site of infinite potential and continual becoming. I wanted to create work that was alive in the moment of performance, to give enough space and time for the audience to become aware of their perceptual shifts and for a choreographic encounter to unfold between the performer and the audience.

– Matthew Day

I have seen only the second part of this trilogy, CANNIBAL, in which Mr Day “… discovered an ebbing wave beneath this (a) pulsing vibration, a returning eternal flow that sustained the choreography”. In this work Mr Day through the ‘immersion’ in the rhythmic waves, is “…learning that these obsessions with form,minimalism,duration, repetition, deformation, allow me (i.e.Mr Day) to approach choreography as a field of energetic perception”.

In contrast to the all white visuals of CANNIBAL, for INTERMISSION Mr Day dresses in dark clothing and works in a dark curtained space to low level light. Beginning quietly once again, the movement begins minutely and radiates through the body, although in this work, of much less detailed duration, finally propelling himself around the outer edges of the space accompanied by a live score of drone minimalism by James Brown – a low burr of a sound to a reverberation of one’s inner organs ‘sound’ (interactive, indeed).

The limited body flexibility of Mr Day, as a performer, underlines the possible potential of something of real interest here. Watching Mr Day, however, became a frustration – the seemingly ‘frozen’ pelvic area of this performer blocking the flow of force through into the legs, feet and ground, limiting it strictly to the undulation of the upper chest and arms – the neck, also oddly, held and seemingly disengaged. Choreographed onto a top notch dancer the effect of the study and work of Mr Day could be startling. As is, this performance work is a case study of potential only. The endurance of the mover is the principal thing to admire – he does keep going for what seemed like at least 40 odd minutes!

The work still feels like an artist’s thesis paper. If a better dancer takes on this concept (and perhaps, it has already been done, somewhere?) the conceptual choreographic potential might be more startling. For the theorists, only.