Commissioned for RISING, Pendulum was originally set in a gallery of NGV and was locked down straight after opening night. Now it has a second chance in Melbourne Fringe, with a new location in a massive, wall-less shed in the heart of the industrial Docklands.  

Surrounded by stunning evening city views and a green-lit Bolte Bridge, the visual geometry of the hanging metal pendulums takes on a different scale to that of an indoor galley. The installation is like a hidden jewel, nestled within the sprawling concrete space. 

Choreographed by Lucy Guerin and with sound by percussive artist Matthais Schack-Arnott, Pendulum is a moving visual artwork more than a dance production, even though a highly skilled contemporary dance ensemble performs the show.

Gold track suits (by Harriet Oxley) costume the female dancers, blending them into the metallic surfaces of the environment. All the dance actions are deliberate and intentional – the marches in tight lines, the synchronized bicep curls that methodically push the pendulums, the prolonged periods of stillness. 

Exactingly clear in their focus, the humans precisely orchestrate the patterns  (angular swings, sweeping circles, gentle ripples) of the pendulums, even lying underneath the structures without ever colliding into them.

The pendulums are the real performers here, but they need the whip-smart detail of the dancers to exist. Bosco Shaw’s lighting is also crucial for the way it illuminates and diminishes the space, depending on the patterning at play.

Totally beautiful and distinctly meditative, Pendulum is a formal work, impressive for its specificity and clear spacial intentions with corresponding sounds.

And it's a destination event; the adventure is in the journey to an unfamiliar part of the city and finding the spectacle within.

The relentless commitment to a single focus means Pendulum may be better appreciated as something to chance upon and watch for a personally determined period of time. Its steady dynamic and unique tone, while incredibly impressive, is challenging to sustain for a full-length seated work. 

Event details

2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival
created by Lucy Guerin Inc and Matthias Schack-Arnott

Choreography Lucy Guerin with the dancers

Venue: Shed 21, Docklands | 206 Lorimer St, Docklands, VIC
Dates: 5 – 23 October 2022
Tickets: $39 – $25


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