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Past program

Dancing Sculpture

NGV Australia, Federation Square
Level 3

Free entry

Ecstatic, theatrical and sensual – experience modern dance and its transformation of movement and gesture in the twentieth century with performances Gertrud Bodenwieser’s The Demon Machine (1924) performed by VCA Dancers and Carol Brown’s Acts of Becoming (1995).

These performances have been programmed as part of Leap Into the Modern – a one day symposium exploring modern dance in Australia from the 1930’s, curated by Professor Rachel Fensham and Dr Jordan Beth Vincent.


Dance students from the Victorian College of Arts perform choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser’s The Demon Machine (1924), a work of modern dance which toured Australia for nearly two decades beginning in 1939.

This recreation by Carol Brown follows reconstructions by Shona Dunlop-MacTavish (1980); and Evelyn Ippen and Bettina Vernon (1985,1988).

Music Lisa Maria Mayer
Musician John Grayling
Costume Design Alice Edgeley
Rehearsal Direction Jenny Kinder and Nina Veretennikova
VCA Dancers Phaedra Brown, Jazmyn Carter, Hayley Roe, Thalia Livingstone, Rachel Mackie


Acts Of Becoming is a solo of displaced memories and survival traces. Originally made in 1995 as an homage to Gertrud Bodenwieser, Carol Brown has re-developed this performance for the NGV through layers, words and gestures from the archives of former Bodenwieser Tanzgruppe dancers.

Carol Brown is an acclaimed New Zealand-based choreographer and performer. She was introduced to the Bodenwieser method through Shona Dunlop-McTavish, herself a student of the expressionist dancer and choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser in Vienna during the 1930s.

Recently she has been developing the project Releasing the Archive with Thomas Kampe and the New Zealand Dance Company through embodied archival research into the diasporic legacies of former Bodenwieser dancers. Carol is an Associate Professor in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland and directs Choreographic Research Aotearoa.

Choreographer and Performer Carol Brown
Soundscape Russell Scoones, includes the voices of Magda Hoyos and Dory Stern


Vibrating inside dance memories, the film Releasing Her Archive returns to the past to revitalize the practices of choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser (b.1890 Vienna, d.1959 Sydney).

Releasing her Archive was filmed in collaboration with the New Zealand Dance Company at the Wellesley Studios, Auckland, New Zealand. Thanks to Shona McCullagh, Jochen Roller, Andrea Keiz, Elizabeth Nehring, Simon Ellis, Barbara Cuckson, Amie Mack and Caroline Bindon.

This performance has been funded through the University of Melbourne, Engagement Grant 2017 and School of Culture and Communication with support from The Australian Centre and the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of Arts.

Fri 11 Aug, 3pm (Past)

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Sat 12 Aug, 3pm (Past)

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Sun 13 Aug, 12pm (Past)

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Sun 13 Aug, 3pm (Past)

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