Friday June 23, 2017

White Porcelain Doll


Image by FenLan Photography

The incredible strength and tenacity of women who have survived long-term hostage situations has inspired WHITE PORCELAIN DOLL, the first full-length dance theatre work from Lizzie and Zaimon Vilmanis’ Prying Eye Productions, which premieres at the Judith Wright Centre this July.

“Like many people, we have been fascinated by the stories of Natascha Kampusch and The Cleveland Girls,” says former Expressions Dance Company performer and in-demand choreographer Lizzie Vilmanis.

“Your first thoughts are usually to question ‘what would I do?’ and to marvel at the feats of courage displayed by these women and the remarkable human capacity for survival.

“The seemingly endless scenarios that these high profile cases draw out of you became the foundations for White Porcelain Doll. We explore the power play between perpetrator and victim; how these incredible women can overcome the cruelty of their captors to carry on each and every day, finding the will to survive their captivity.”

For Lizzie and her partner Zaimon (who has had a distinguished career as a dancer and choreographer, working with Expressions Dance Company and Leigh Warren and Dancers as well as the UK’s Random Dance Company and Attik Dance Company), White Porcelain Doll also allowed them the opportunity to collaborate with artists from theatre, sound and video art to craft this compelling fairy tale inspired by real life horror stories.

“Our creative development process began with us stripping away everyone’s official titles such as choreographer, director, film maker etc, instead we all took on the role of ‘creative mind’ and initially didn’t allow ourselves and our collaborators to draw on our fields of specialisation,” explains Zaimon.

“The results were unpredictable and exciting (and sometimes hilariously funny), but by having fun with the development and enjoying the process of taking creative risks, we all discovered hidden talents and were able to inject some really innovate elements into the production.”

“Multimedia plays a key factor in connecting the audience with the female character in White Porcelain Doll, shifting between her physical isolation and the outmost corners of her extraordinary mind. It’s used both with the body as a canvas and the escapism of her imagination, which illustrates the power of the mind and its influence on survival.”

Prying Eye Productions encourages audiences to open themselves to a journey of emotions, woven into a tapestry of movement, theatre, imagery and sound, as they experience one woman’s isolation and the fragility of her identity as it dangles precariously within the walls of her keeper’s making.

According to Lizzie, “by witnessing the psychological space that exists in a relationship where the parameters of trust have been so drastically altered, we hope to stimulate people’s perception of the inherent human will to live.”

Dates Sat 26 July to Sat 2 August

Time 7:30pm Duration 60 mins, no interval

Venue Performance Space, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

420 Brunswick St (Cnr Berwick St), Fortitude Valley

Tickets $32 -22

Bookings or 07 3872 9000

PRODUCTION CREDITS Lizzie Vilmanis Co-Director/Choreographer/Performer Zaimon Vilmanis Co-Director/Choreographer/Performer Tessa Smallhorn Visual Systems and Stage Manager Veronica Neave Dramaturg Bruce McKinven Designer Dan Black Lighting Designer Ryadan Jeavons Composer and Director of Photography Clare Dyson Choreoturg
Lizzie Vilmanis is an acclaimed performer, twice nominated "dancer to watch" in the Dance Australia Critics Survey. Her 14 year professional career (eight with Expressions Dance Company) has seen her perform major roles, both at home and abroad, in works by some of the world's best choreographers. She has also choreographed works for EDC, Royal Academy of Dancing, the South Australian Children's Ballet Company, Outcast Performing Arts, and Brisbane Festival's Mixed Tape and has appeared in film clips for Katie Noonan and Michelle Xen. Her recent collaborations include Resurfaced -Brisbane Festival (2012) with Feet Teeth, and Lady Electronica Live -Judith Wright Centre (2012) with Donna Hewitt. She is also currently undertaking a Master of Arts (Research) at QUT investigating issues surrounding sustainability for Brisbane independent contemporary dance artists.

Zaimon Vilmanis has choreographed commissioned works for Expressions Dance Company (EDC), Sybella Blencowe, QUT Dance, Adelaide College of the Arts, Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts, Fresh Bred Ensemble, and Outcast Performing Arts. In 2004, he co-founded NARC Dance Theatre (U.K.) and co-choreographed Prying Eye for Resolutions in London, later funded by Yorkshire and Humberside Arts and made into a short dance film. In 2011, he was selected to represent Australia for the International Young Choreographers Project in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. His recent collaborations include Feet Teeth (Resurfaced -Brisbane Festival, 2012) and Donna Hewitt (Lady
Electronica Live -Judith Wright Centre, 2012). A revered and experienced performer, his international career has included dancing for Random Dance Company and Attik Dance Company (U.K.), EDC (Brisbane), Leigh Warren and Dancers (Adelaide), as well as many independent artists in Australia.

Prying Eye Productions has been supported by the Judith Wright Centre’s Fresh Ground program, made possible through Arts Queensland.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body and by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

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