She tried to hug me, I wasn’t listening.

A movement and video performance developed by Simon Ellis and students of the Victorian College of the Arts, with sound by Jacqueline Grenfell, design by Adam Gardnir, and light by Luke Hails and Michael Jankie.

Lying premièred in November 2002 as part of the Victorian College of the Arts School of Dance’s The Works’ season at Gasworks Theatre in Melbourne. The programme also featured choreographies by Neil Adams, John Utans, Jane Mortiss and Jonathan Taylor.

Lying was developed collaboratively by the following artists:

James Antonio-Masefield, Bes Ayre, Emma Curtis, Jess Devereux, Louise Devlin, Anthea Doropoulos, Tony Nguyen, Nikki Palmer, Lou Rosekelly, Vanessa Scott, Kylie Skinner, Katie-Louise Thomas, Alta Truden, Susan Van Den Ham, Andrew Watson, Adam Wheeler, Robin Wyllie

Jacqueline Grenfell (sound) Adam Gardnir (costume) Michael Jankie & Luke Hails (light) Simon Ellis (direction)


I entered the development and rehearsal period for Lying focused on providing these emerging dance artists with an open-ended choreographic process. Rather than walking into the studio armed with an idea and a vocabulary of movement, I was particularly interested in finding out what the dancers were engaged in and by — both personally and kinaesthetically. The themes of this work — truth and intimacy — reflect the discussions and interactions the artists involved in the project have had since its beginnings almost 6 months ago.

I have sought to introduce what for many of the students is a new mode of making performance material, and also attempted to find ways to express ideas and thoughts to them about my decision making process.

Lying is a work containing material developed by the students using various choreographic and improvisatory tasks. It has been shaped by me as choreographer’, and heavily influenced by the sound developed by Jacqueline Grenfell, but the ownership of the material remains with the students. The work is a reflection of their commitment to the choreographic process, and enthusiasm in taking on an enormously demanding temporal structure.

– Simon Ellis, November 2002

Images are screenshots of video material featuring Adam Wheeler and Emma Curtis.

Lying Lying Lying Lying

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