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Larissa McGowan’s Skeleton Dance

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Everyone at some point or another has fallen off of their bicycle or skateboard. You’re effortlessly coasting down the road when all of a sudden you find yourself in a humble downfall. You dust yourself off, sheepishly look around and go on your way. This common experience is the focus of Larissa McGowan’s Skeleton, her newest piece of contemporary dance.

Skeleton was first conceptualized when co-director Sam Haren introduced Larissa to the work of Australian artist Ricky Swallow. One sculpture in particular, a skull with a hoodie on it, intrigued the two directors. The juxtaposition of the skeleton with an everyday object allowed the viewer to get a sense of who the person used to be.

Taking this work one step further, Larissa choreographed a piece about objects and skeletons colliding. The BMX, skateboard and high heel were specifically chosen for their 80s and 90s pop culture kudos. The objects serve as an “archaeological puzzle”, asking the viewer to imagine the memories associated with them. For Larissa, one of the most important things in creating a piece is not to forcefeed the audience, allowing them to use their imagination.


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