Garry Stewart with ADT and CM Films

Garry Stewart

Australian Dance Theatre (ADT)

Carmelo Musca, CM Film Productions (CM Films) (Australia)

Collision Course 2011

Video installation, 33 min

Image: Still from Collision Course

Collision Course is a large-scale study in movement. It involves a series of bodies colliding in mid-air captured in extreme slow motion at 1500 frames per second. This results in a one second event being stretched in time to last approximately one minute so that the smallest gesture becomes monumental. The video shows 48 different collisions sequentially over 33 minutes. In each collision we witness in vivid detail the enormous elasticity of the body’s flesh and collagen as faces, limbs and bodies collide against each other with impact. Through technology we see well beyond what can be perceived in real time and are drawn into the secret world of the physics of our bodies in full flight and under stress.

Collision Course represents a diverse array of body types shaped by their training regimes to master different physical disciplines such as martial artists, rugby players, gymnasts, contemporary dancers, athletes, wrestlers, capoeira dancers, breakdancers, boxers and jive dances. The project involves around 100 cast members drawn from the West Australian community. The accompanying soundscape created by Perth based composer Samantha Ray is designed to reinforce the monumentality of the action.

Garry Stewart has been the Artistic Director of the Australian Dance Theatre since 1999. Stewart studied at the Sydney City Ballet Academy (1983) and the Australian Ballet School (1984–1985). He has danced with the Australian Dance Theatre, the Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company and The One Extra Dance Company and has performed with the Sydney Theatre Company. Stewart began his dance training in 1983 and in 1997, founded the dance company Thwack. Alongside his role as Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre, Stewart pursues an active interest in audio-visual works. These works are created in partnership with the dancers of Australian Dance Theatre and national and international collaborators.