Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Although Vicki Van Hout has been announcing that when time comes to introduce herself, all she’ll say is “I have nothing,” she actually does say a lot. She apologizes for not having any images or video (to which Margie disagrees as she brought some with her to Bundanon), and launches straight into describing her practice and where she learned to dance.
“Much of our work is a result of collective embodied knowledges,” she says. She learned to dance at National Aboriginal and Islanders Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College, and went to Martha Graham school. She also learned Horton technique from T Ross, and Hawkins from Cathy Ward.
Steeped in Modern technique, she was advised by Performance Studies lecturer Amanda Card to change her career perspective. Instead of going from a westen standpoint, why doesn’t Vicki start from a cultural standpoint and see what can grow from there.
Vicki says, “Part of my work is political. I like comedy, I’m very lowbrow,” she lowers her voice to establish the joke. “But really, there’s a lot of sadness in our culture but we have a good sense of humor. There’s that stigma that we’re dumb that I want to move out of, and that habit that when we make work, it’s always sad, and we’re always a victim. I reference who we are now, so I make sure there’s a flavor of humor.”
“My raison d’etre really is I’m obsessed with trying to find and break boundaries,” she shares. She wants to work with how “we can be immersed by the land and by indigenous culture,” and is interested in the juxtaposition of wanting to be successful but having shame in that success. “It’s also about being afraid to boost ourselves up. Success seems to be vulgar,” she opines.