Leap into the Modern archive

This collection documents the reconstruction of The Demon Machine, first created in Vienna in 1924 by Gertrud Bodenwieser. The recreation was performed as part of a public performance program Dancing Sculpture (10-13 August 2017) and one-day symposium Leap into the Modern (12 August 2017), held at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

Dancing Sculpture is a performance program that accompanied the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition A Brave New World: Australia 1930s, featuring Gertrud Bodenwieser’s The Demon Machine (1924) was performed by Victorian College of Arts dance students, recreated by Carol Brown a student of Bodenwieser dancer Shona Dunlop-McTavish. Acts of Becoming, a solo performance by Carol Brown, uses the archives of former Bodenwieser dancers to inspire dialogues and gestures with the embodied politics of women who risk everything. In the process she draws attention to the necessity of hospitality for strangers during turbulent times.

Leap into the Modern was a one-day symposium exploring modern dance in Australia from the 1930’s, curated by Professor Rachel Fensham and Dr Jordan Beth Vincent. Session topics included modern dance as cultural history, Australian moderns and radical bodies and re-performing the archive. Speakers included contemporary dance artists Meryl Tankard, Carol Brown and Shelley Lasica, as well as interdisciplinary researchers such as Suzanne Robinson and Maggie Tonkin.

This collection includes photographs, designs, programs, press clippings and film.