Category Archives: Vicki

Make Like A Rhinoceros

Monday, November 21, 2011

Aside from the Bower Bird discovery, another incident that impressed the Bundanon dance lab participants during the Tuesday afternoon walk was the herd of cattle that didn’t seem keen on allowing us to cross the paddock and when the bull, in all its majesty, looked straight at us suspiciously, and some of us started to panic quite audibly, Leigh Warren put his arms up in front of his head and said, “Quick, make like a rhinoceros!!” This obviously did not deter the cows and bull, nor did it make them want to charge, but it did disperse the nature nerves as we cracked up in laughter.

In honor of Leigh, Vicki rounded up the Bundanon educational exchange program schoolkids and got them to do some site specific movement with her. She brought them to a nice wooded area beside the bower bird nests (both real and Latai’s) and asked them to stand behind a tree, like hiding. At her signal, the kids should start jumping up and down (like some of our favorite animals in the paddock – not the cows) but from behind the tree. Then, when they got tired, or just felt like it, to “Make like a rhinoceros.” She asked one boy to wear the yellow gloves from her kitchen.

The kids, all visual arts students, were all quite game, but most likely not aware that they just did a “Leigh Warren choreography right there,” as Cat put it. And despite herself, Vicki finally got to orchestrate a collaboration of her initiative.

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Make Like A Rhinoceros from Critical Path on Vimeo.

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Obsessed with trying to find and break boundaries

  Intro РVicki

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.

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