MELT

Premiere at Chunky Move Studio, Melbourne, September 2002.

Melt was Lucy Guerin’s first full-length work since The End of Things in 2000.  With Melt, Lucy turned away from the more narrative, linear progression she used in The End of Things and ventured back to the more abstract approach of her earlier works, such as Heavy.

Melt is a performance in two parts, examining the temperature trajectory from freezing to boiling. The first part is a duet with two dancers physically exploring rising changes in temperature. Beginning with the minute, sharp movements of cracking ice, it progresses through a warm and languid quality, culminating in frenzied and chaotic choreography that the dancers can barely maintain.

The second part adds another element of exploration, examining the relationship between temperature and temperament. These extremes are complemented through well-crafted light, graphic and sound design that bring together the two parts. In the words of one reviewer,  “the overall effect is so seamless that we are left wondering how any one element ever existed without the other” (Seamless, 2002).

While Melt is quite an abstract work, Lucy was very conscious of the importance of choreographing visceral movements that would allow the audience to see and feel temperature, explaining “I’m working with a lot of very intricate hand movements and finger details” (Feature by Jonathan Marshall, 2002). Lucy Guerin’s choreography easily falls into the post-modernist contemporary dance category, but there is something unique about her work that makes any other form of categorization almost impossible. While one reviewer likened the minimalistic precision and clean lines found in Melt to that of New York Ballet choreographer George Ballanchine, he continued “like thawing ice, Guerin’s crystalline choreography proceeds at its own pace” (Jonathan Marshall, 2002).

In its opening season, Melt received mixed reviews, with some reviewers finding that the second part of the performance was too abstract and failed to meet the high expectations raised by the first part of the performance. In 2003 Lucy Guerin Inc was the only Australian dance company to be chosen by the American National Dance Project to tour the United States. Lucy took Melt and The End of Things on tour, performing in Miami, North Carolina, Durham, Seattle, Chicago, Portland, Houston and New York City. Performances of Melt subsequently became a duet only, using part one of the original presentation. Melt was performed as part of Love Me, which premiered in 2005 and incorporated three works (Reservoir of Giving I and II, On and Melt).

PAST PERFORMANCES:

Premiere – 2002: Chunky Move Studio.
4-9 March, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, On the Boards, Seattle, US.
11-14 March, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, PICA, Oregon, US.
18 March, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, Duke University, Durham, US.
28-29 March, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, Diverseworks, Houston, US.
5 Apri,l 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, Miami Light, Miami, US.
8 April, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
10-13 April, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, Dance Theatre Workshop, New York, NY
13-15 November, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth.
18-23 November, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, Sydney Opera House Studio, Sydney.
28 November, 2003:  On tour with The End of Things, West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul, Victoria.
21-22 August, 2004: Zurich Festival, Switzerland.
3-5 June, 2005: Asian Arts Mart, Singapore.
6 September, 2005: Performed as part of Love Me, Premiere, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne.
1-2 November, 2005: Performed as part of Love Me, Belfast Festival, Ireland.
26-27 October, 2005: Performed as part of Love Me, Contact Theatre, Manchester, United Kingdom.
29 August- 8 September, 2007: Performed as part of Love Me, PICA, Perth.
22-25 August, 2007: Performed as part of Love Me, Visy Theatre, Brisbane.
8-18 August, 2007: Performed as part of Love Me, Performance Space, Sydney.
1-4 August, 2007: Performed as part of Love Me, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart.
13-14 October, 2007: Seoul Performing Arts Festival, South Korea.

REVIEWS | PREMIERE SEASON

” … it has the same kind of richness one can find in some of Kraftwerk’s music, Mondrian’s paintings, of the clipped dialogue of film noir.”

Jonathan Marshall, Real Time, 2002.

Images: Jeff Busby

Creative Team

  • director: Lucy Guerin
  • Choreographer: Lucy Guerin
  • Dancers from Premiere Production: Kyle Kremerskothen , Phoebe Robinson , Ros Warby , Stephanie Lake , Toby Mills
  • Composer: Frank Tetaz
  • Producer: Angharad Wynne-Jones

image gallery

Publicity & Media

  • Media Release - Melt

    Media Release Melt - from freezing to boiling, movement by degrees. Debut performance details, September 2002.

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  • Robin Usher, Gurin tops State grants, The Age, 16 August 2002.

    Article describing how Lucy Guerin has received state funding to develop Melt.

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  • 'Grace Notes' with Lucy Guerin, The Age, 13 September 2002.

    Interview with Lucy Guerin in The Age, 2002.

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  • Disco inferno cools down and chills out, Port Phillip Leader, 16 September 2002.

    Cover feature and picture in the Port Phillip Leader about Melt.

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  • Gig Guide promotion, The Age, 20 September 2002.

    Gig Guide review of Melt.

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  • Jo Roberts, Applying barometric pressure, The Age, 20 September 2002.

    Review of Melt in the Culture section of The Age, 2002.

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  • Alison Barclay, Cool tour for Melt, Herald Sun, 20 September 2002.

    Article by Alison Barclay in the Arts and Entertainment section of the Herald Sun describing Guerin's touring plans for Melt.

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  • Hilary Crampton, It's hard to warm to such icy precision, The Age, 23 September 2002.

    Review of Melt by Hilary Crampton, The Age, 2002.

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  • Stephanie Glickman, Running hot...and cold, The Herald Sun, 24 September 2002.

    Review of Melt by Stephanie Glickman for the Herald Sun, September 2002.

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  • Ben Zipper, Dance Review: Melt, The Melbourne Times, 25 September 2002.

    Review of Melt by Ben Zipper for the Melbourne Times, September 2002.

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  • Lee Christofis, Starts off like ice, ends in a puddle, The Australian, 27 September 2002.

    Review of Melt by Lee Christofis for the Australian, September 2002.

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  • Neil Jillett, Melt review, The Sunday Age, 29 September 2002.

    Review of Melt by Neil Jillett for the Sunday Age Agenda/Review, September 2002.

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  • Review of Melt performed at the Seoul Performing Arts Festival, 2007.

    Note this item is in Korean.

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  • Review of Melt from the Seoul Performing Arts Festival, 2007.

    Note this item is Korean and English.

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Critical Analysis

  • Jonathan Marshall, Cool Moves, RealTime issue #52 Dec-Jan 2002.

    Jonathan Marshall interviews Lucy Guerin about her work Melt and the relationship between temperature and temperament.

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  • Margot Anderson, Seamless: where costume meets dance, 2008.

    Essay by Margot Anderson on the creative process of designing costume for dance in terms of Lucy Guerin's piece Melt.

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collection items

  • Melt program 2002.

    Program from the first performance of Melt, September 2002.

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  • Melt program from the Seoul Performing Arts Festival, 2007.

    Program from the Seoul Performing Arts Festival 2007, note this item is in Korean.

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Audio

  • NAME OF AUDIO: Lucy Guerin interviewed by Catherine Forge about the Archive

  • NAME OF AUDIO: Lucy Guerin interviewed by Catherine Forge about the history of Lucy Guerin Inc

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