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Show and Tell
This dance is based on Australian Sign Language which has been "Stretched" to bring out the importance of the way in which the gestures are performed. The dance message "Showing" is made progressively more visable than the verbal message "Telling" contained in the movement. The text which forms the basis of the movement material is: "I saw this movement recently and my immediate thought was that I should try and use it to make a dance. The movement itself was the only motivation. It seemed a strange way to begin because I didn't know what it was going to be about. All I knew was that this movement would form its basis. When deaf people sign, they are talking, not dancing. There was something in the movement which seemed to lend itself to development in an interesting way. It's a language in its own right. The meaning of each sign effects signs on either side, and is also dependent on other accompanying gestures. The actions stand for concepts, and meaning is found in the recognition of form and sequence. The movements of signing are understood if they are recognised as standing for something else. The movements of dance simply point to themselves to be understood."
Dancers in Remounts: Catherine O'Brien
Main season in 1986 and 1987