In July 2018 I had the gift of being in the studio for 5 hours one day with young and brilliant mover, Matthew Wyllie at Dance Victoria’s Choreographic Lab. We started with a list of questions that had bombarded my dreams the night before, knowing a solo exploration would be one of my tasks one of the days of the choreographic lab. What unfolded was wonderful. Matthew dances with a wisdom that in my mind can only come from a generosity to live fully in each moment you are given. He has such a pure heart and our times was filled with looking back at childhood experiences and our mutual love of Marvel Superhero Comics. Fast forward to a year later and it is the 3 year anniversary of a near death experience Matthew and 3 friends survived. Matthew is about to embark onstage, and I for the first time and standing in the honour of letting a piece go. Willing myself to fully give the work over to him. It is his story now and I feel lucky I was the vessel that Matthew was willing to tell this story along with. We put together a neat little trailer and a longer one is in the works from Matthew’s brilliant performances and debut at Dancing on the Edge 2019. My team of incredible collaborators, Kyla Gardiner (lighting designer) and Stefan Smulovitz (sound designer) outdid themselves again. Kyla’s lighting truly had Matthew dancing like he existed nowehre and everywhere at the same time, correlating to the experience of time slowing down in the moment of potential tragedy and total shock that Matthew shared of his NDE. Stefan created a palpating score that mirrored the distant beating of a heart, calculating the moments of risk and the probability of making it out of this alive.
(It happens to help that Matthew looks a lot like Captain America…….)
Photo: Erik Zennstrom