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Event Spotlight – Metasystems: Duplication

April 15, 2016

Metasystems: Duplication is part of a series of five short works about the construction site. An observation of the built environment, the work invites viewers to reflect on their everyday encounters with the local environment.

We caught up with choreographer James Batchelor to find out more:


Image: Lorna Sim

Image: Lorna Sim


Hi James! Tell us a bit about yourself and your practice:

I’m a choreographer from Canberra and Melbourne working across dance and visual mediums. My aim is to create experiences that inspire reflection on how the body senses, navigates and interacts with the world. I’m interested in where movement comes from and what it provokes. For the audience, it is a world through fresh eyes, inviting curiosity into what might have been previously assumed or taken for granted. In performance, something that felt certain can become uncertain again.


What inspired you to create Metasystems: Duplication 

I started creating Metasystems in response to the rapid change of the urban landscape as observed from my apartment window in Melbourne. With several construction sites next to my apartment, each day I would observe the different processes taking place and the physical actions of the workers. Over time I have made five different short works responding to different construction sites around the world. Duplication was made in Canberra in early 2015 and sourced movement ideas from roadwork and building maintenance.


What can audiences expect from the work?

Audiences can expect a rhythmic word of body and concrete. They can expect repetition. Something will not go to plan…


Is the work tightly choreographed or is there room for improvisation?

 Usually in my work there is a lot of improvisation but this one is very tightly choreographed. We aim to execute the work with precision and perfection and always fall short. It is this error that is interesting.


What’s your personal experience with the changing built environment, particularly in Canberra?

Well growing up in Canberra, which is the ultimate planned city, I think there is a really interesting tension between the designed and more organic movements of the city. I also think Canberra is very fashionable when it comes to architecture – so its really interesting to observe how quickly certain features of the city become obsolete, repurposed or rebuilt.


Tell us a fun fact – about anything! 

I have a human teeth collection.


What YAH 2016 events are you most looking forward to seeing?

An Attempt to Perform Kill Climate Deniers and Sittin’ Sidewayz