Natalie Abbott

Natalie Abbott

Suomenlinna studios
Dance, Theatre / Artist, Choreographer | Australia
Residencies: 01.02.2018 — 30.04.2018

Natalie Abbott is an Australian performance maker/choreographer and experimental artist busy with excavating the fissures between what is real, and un-real, and pushing into the spectacle of theatre to create absurd performance experiences for audiences.

We are in a post internet, post human, post truth, post post world constantly grappling with the soft edges of reality. It’s not real, …but it’s not, not real…Natalie works closely with a team of collaborators in light, design and sound to drive her artistic and choreographic vision and deepen her understanding of performance, the body as a political entity and movement practices. Her current practice interrogates failure, flying and falling as actions and philosophical questions.

Natalie’s practice involves exposing a multitude of parallel realities as a way of melting binaries and warping expectations, particularly in relation to dance and performance. She uses known forms like ballet and theatrical tropes as a tool to unravel expectations. Her practice is anti-aspirational; instead of reaching up, she is interested in falling backwards into the void and letting the bottom slip out from underneath ideas so that they are no longer recognisable and instead become a portal for the mind to warp.

She is constantly seeking alternative modes of presentation for her work and works both solo and as part of a collective, Deep Soulful Sweats, when creating work. She has collaborated with bodybuilders, retired ballet dancers, sports stars, dancers, non-dancers, elderly people, crash mats and her dad to generate an interesting physicality that interrogates her relationship to the dancing body.

Whilst at HIAP I am taking a 'soft-edged' approach to research and performance practice. I am interested in finding new ways of creating group choreography in different times, places, spaces and using that as a model for touring work that engages actively with the politics of the group of people present at the moment in time. I will work with local dancers and artists to generate material that will be presented at the culmination of the residency. I will host a series of events; softly-curated performance evenings where local artists can come together and share their practice, a performance, a reading, anything they like as a way of cultivating community and exposing practice as process. I will read a lot and contextualise my practice outside of my usual working network. I will watch the snow fall and melt, and fall and melt... —Natalie Abbott