Waves Are Disturbances

Waves is an iterative site-specific project that engages with the ecologies, landscapes and stories of beaches and the communities that surround them. Waves become a poetic allegory to explore ideas of consent and control in personal and political contexts.

Most recently, we made an iteration for Drift Festival in Mornington titled How We Rise for Merricks Beach. Informed by five days of intensive development at Merricks on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung country, How We Rise was a response to place. This project is currently danced by Hayley Does, Al Jefimenko, Alex Dobson and Valentina Emerald. 

We are making an experimental dance performance about the majestic power of the ocean wave, alongside film, writing, workshop and research outcomes. 

Waves are a pattern of physical force that exists in many forms of matter. We take inspiration from ‘Waving’ as an incremental process of layering and rearticulation that creates its own sense of overlapping time. In this process folding determines composition by pulling different moments in and out of each other in time. As a means of revealing dance as an evolving process to the audience our Waves methodology allows experimentation, development of ideas, real-time process and refinement to all sit together in multiple artwork outcomes. This project began in 2018 and is still unfolding. 

The term a breaking wave refers to the shape of its movement. Usually waves like the squiggly lines you see, when radio waves are illustrated, are a continual movement. Up and down in a curve. Rippling out endlessly. This happens under the water in the ocean too, but near the shore this pattern of movement literally brakes. It stops working. The surface becomes open creating the curved shape of the beach wave.

This seems like an appropriate way for describing feelings. As if something submerged, going on for a long time in perpetual movement rears it’s head above the surface at breaking point. The way you told me to be more like you. To jump in. To be dunked in the wave of your feelings. To swim in even though I saw the rip from the shore.

Waves is led by artist/choreographer Zoë Bastin and includes dancers Hayley Does, Alexandra Dobson, Al Jefimenko and Val Emerald, dramaturg Philipa Rothfield, composer Grace Ferguson, moving image director Louis Roach and artistic advisor Helen Grogan, Open Practice Studio.

Waves has been supported by a Regional Residency for BLINDSIDE, Block Projects, the Emerging Choreographers Program at Dancehouse, Regional Arts Victoria, Arts Merri-Bek, the Centre for Projection Art at Collingwood Yards, Centre of Visual Art at Melbourne University, Green Monday Studio Residency, Out of Bounds presented by Lucy Guerin Inc and Temperance Hall, On The Table at Dancehouse, Silver Leaf Art Box, Drift Festival, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and Auspicious Arts.