Collision Course

Collision Course is a study in movement produced and co directed by Carmelo Musca and choreographed and co directed by Australian Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Garry Stewart.

Collision Course is a large-scale study in movement that involves the use of an extremely high speed video camera to shoot a series of bodies colliding in mid-air in extreme slow motion. Each collision is slowed down so that a one second event is stretched in time to last approximately one minute. The video will show 48 different collisions sequentially. The duration of the final piece is 33 minutes.

This high speed video manipulates time and perception through slowing down movement to such an enormous degree so that the smallest gesture becomes monumental. In each collision we witness in vivid detail the reconfiguration of faces, limbs and bodies as they collide against each other with impact. The enormous elasticity of the body’s flesh and collagen is well beyond what can be perceived in real time but via this medium we are drawn into a the secret world of the physics of our bodies in full flight and under stress. Collision Course intersects a poetics of extremes where the perception of bodies and what they can endure is revealed.

Collision Course is essentially a community project that involves people trained in various different physical disciplines: martial artists, rugby players, gymnasts, dancers, athletes, wrestlers, capoeira dancers, breakdancers and boxers. Participants are made up of anyone who is reasonably comfortable with hurling themselves through the air at speed toward another body (or bodies). The collisions are constructed as duos, trios, quartets and quintets.

Collision Course  represents a highly diverse array of body types shaped by their various physical regimes. The project involves around 100 cast members drawn from the West Australian community and represents the cultural diversity of the State’s population.

The accompanying soundscape was created by Perth based composer Samantha Ray. The aim of the sound is to reinforce the monumentality of the action and create a sustained sonic accompaniment.

There is great potential for this study in movement to be seen all over the globe as it is represents a nexus of art and sport via a video media. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has commissioned a documentary on the making of Collision Course and will feature 2 minute interstitials about the work on its website and free to air channels.