Research Room Residency

Mar, Apr, Aug

In 2009, Deborah devised a distributed, dancing memorial for the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen protests, based on the steps of the man who held off the tanks after the protest was crushed by the Peoples Liberation Army. The choreography was developed by Jane McKernan, and Tek-Kim Pok performed the instructions in videos produced by Sumugan Sivanesan and distributed on YouTube in English, Mandarin, German and Cantonese. The memorial, called Tank Man Tango, was danced on 4 June 2009 in various countries around the world.

Now Deborah is keen to research the possibility of a collective, distributed dance work to commemorate the 25th anniversary on 4 June 2014. She will utilise her residency period to interview a range of choreographers, historians, sociologists and dancers in Australia and elsewhere on the following questions: What is the lineage of dance in social movements? Is popular resistance appropriately honoured in Tank Man Tango? What do we know from dancing? And to ask a number of the dancers who took part in the 2009 memorial: What was your experience of the memorial? How could it be better: more poetic, more beautiful, better embodying memory, more powerfully bringing life to history?

Deborah Kelly is an artist whose work is concerned with lineages of representation, politics and history in public exchange.

Deborah Kelly, 2009. Teik-Kim Pok learning the Tiananmen Memorial: Tank Man Tango choreography by Jane McKernan

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Critical Path

The Drill, 1C New Beach Rd,
Darling Point (Rushcutters Bay), Sydney