Irish Contemporary Dance: Liz Roche Company @ Riverside Theatres

Rebecca Varidel
24th May 2016

Sydney Scoop spoke with Choreographer and Artistic Director Liz Roche about her first trip to Australia.

You'll be staging Time Over Distance Over Time at Riverside Theatres in Parramatta. Where do the performers come from?

The performers are coming from all over. Jenny Roche and Grant McLay are based in Brisbane, Simone Litchfield is from Melbourne, Henry Montes is based in London and Kevin Coquelard is from Paris.

You are performing in the piece as well, correct?

Yes. More than anything in this piece I wanted to be able to be on stage with everyone. Within the group there are very particular close relationships and because of how our lives have turned out we are often separated from each other over very long periods of time. This piece was a chance for us all to be together again.

Time Over Distance Over Time questions the role of technology as a substitute for face to face interaction. How are you utilising technology in the staging of this piece?

The technology is woven into the dance using mobile phones, multiple screens, cameras and projection. I collaborated with Jared Donovan who is based at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Jared developed a program that we interact with on stage. It is a very beautiful and poignant moment in the show, as it focuses on images fading over time. I also worked with a film maker Luca Truffarelli on a series of filmed images which run throughout the piece. The film shows personal portraits of the dancers, maps, fragmented body parts etc as it follows the journey of the full physicality of a loved one being reduced to a voice down the phone or image on a screen.

Can you please tell us a little bit about the music in Time Over Distance Over Time?

The music is written by Ray Harman. Through the score, Ray makes a bridge for the audience between the “old” and the “new”, reminding us of distance in relation to time. Sounds move gradually into the background to give a sense of leaving. He mixes existing sounds of the everyday bustle of life with more obvious sounds associated with emigration, such as a ship's horn. He also has used the texts that we speak in the show and remade them into frustrating phone calls etc.

Your work was just performed at the Dublin Dance Festival. Will you tell us a little bit about that?

It was a very emotional experience. We were surprised at how affected our audiences were by the piece. I think the positives and negatives of emigration affect so many people today that it was important to make a piece about it. It is an experience that affects people of all ages and is felt through generations of families. We have been planning and working on Time over Distance Over Time for almost two years so we were delighted to be able to bring the piece together, and to perform together and for it to touch people in Dublin to the degree that it did. Now we are really looking forward to the Australian performances!

Time Over Distance Over Time

Direct from the esteemed Dublin Dance Festival, FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres will present a new contemporary dance work from Liz Roche Company, Time Over Distance Over Time, from June 22nd to 25th.

Established in 1999, leading Irish dance company Liz Roche Company is led by Choreographer and Artistic Director Liz Roche who produces a diverse program of innovative dance productions that examine social and cultural constructs and the intensity of physical connections and boundaries.

With an exceptional team of artists based in both Ireland and Australia, Time Over Distance Over Time is a current, dynamic and thought-provoking work that is not to be missed!

Photo Credit Luca Truffarelli