THE ENDS OF THINGS

Premiered at National Theatre, Melbourne, October, 2000.

In 2000, Lucy Guerin made her debut at the Melbourne Festival with The Ends of Things. This work centres around the life of an older man who lives alone in a small house and is slowly losing his grip on reality. Three dancers represent the central character’s state of mind and invade his small domain, finally tearing it down and consigning him to the empty expanses of an unbordered stage. This work was more narrative in content and form than Guerin’s previous works and made use of character, metaphor and expressionistic movement.  

Endings are represented throughout the performance, from fading codas of well-known soundtracks to ordinary daily endings such as the milk running out. Guerin described wanting to explore the ‘emotional resonance of endings both visually and aurally’. The Ends of Things achieves this through the soundscape of repetitive beats, fading melodies and ending records, and  the three dancers disrupting and destroying a small, dull life of routine and ordinariness. The performance climaxes with the dancers encroaching on the enclosed world of the main character, collapsing the boundaries between reason and chaos.

Critic Hilary Crampton described the work as “demonstrating both depth and complexity using current styles of movement, sound and design to reach beyond the surface of contemporary fashion, to reflect deeper social issues” (The Age, 23 October, 2000). There have been several articles written about the process and outcome of creating this piece of work, all of which are available in the Lucy Guerin Inc archive.

The show was almost cancelled after the death of her collaborator, composer and friend Jad McAdam who had sparked the idea for The Ends of Things. McAdam and Guerin had developed the idea for the work based around the sounds of everyday ‘endings’, such as the tone of a disconnected telephone or the crackle of vinyl at the end of a record. After his death, many of the ideas Guerin had discussed with McAdam remained in the work, but the music was commissioned from composer Franc Tetaz.

After debuting at the Melbourne Festival in October 2000, the work then toured internationally with Melt to Germany in 2001 and the US in 2003. The Ends of Things won three Green Room awards in 2001 for Best Dance Theatre Work, Best Female Dancer (Ros Warby) and Best Male Dancer (Trevor Patrick).

While this is a work that was made under tragic circumstances and deals with the disintegration of another life, it is not a completely bleak piece; there is humour and beauty in it too. Dedicated to Jad McAdam, The Ends of Things is a moving tribute to this talented composer.

PAST PERFORMANCES:

Premier – October, 2000: National Theatre, Melbourne during the Melbourne Festival.
23-24 June, 2001: Ludwigsberg Festival, Germany.
16-17 June, 2001: Fabrik, Potsdam, Germany.
4-9 March, 2003:  On the Boards, Seattle, US.
11-14 March, 2003: On tour with Melt, PICA, Oregon, US.
18 March, 2003: On tour with Melt, Duke University, Durham, US.
28-29 March, 2003: On tour with Melt, Diverseworks, Houston, US.
5 April, 2003: On tour with Melt, Miami Light, Miami, US.
8 April, 2003: On tour with Melt, National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
10-13 April, 2003: On tour with Melt, Dance Theatre Workshop, New York, NY
13-15 November, 2003: On tour with Melt, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art
18-23 November, 2003: On tour with Melt, Sydney Opera House Studio, Sydney.
28 November, 2003: On tour with Melt, West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul, Victoria.

REVIEWS

“…choreography that is as precise and inexorable as a sewing machine and as evocative as a dream.”
Jennifer Dunning, New York Times, 2003.

Images: Jeff Busby

Creative Team

  • director: Lucy Guerin
  • Choreographer: Lucy Guerin
  • Dancers from Premiere Production: Brett Daffy , Ros Warby , Stephanie Lake , Trevor Patrick
  • Composer: Franc Tetaz
  • Costume Designer: Dorotka Sapinska
  • Dramaturge: Tom Wright
  • Production Manager: David Murray
  • Lighting designer: Margie Medlin

image gallery

Publicity & Media

  • Lee Christofis, Compassionate and Complex, The Age, 27 October 2000.

    Lee Christofis' review of The Ends of Things, The Age, 27 October 2000.

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  • Markische Allgumeiue Zeitung, Australischer Glucksfall

    Review of The Ends of Things in German.

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  • Monina Dithmer, Pumpende Striber.

    Review of The Ends of Things written in German.

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  • Von Bernd Krause, Die Einsamkeit des Geiselnehmers, Stuggfarter Zeitung, 30 June 2001

    Review of The Ends of Things in German with highlighted sections translated into English.

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  • Von Carolin Lorenz, Der Autismus des Nachbarn

    Review of The Ends of Things in German.

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  • Das Normale und seine Abweichung

    Review of The Ends of Things in German.

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  • Mit Witz uber den Abgrund, Struttgarter Naclimclden

    Review of The Ends of Things in German with highlighted parts translated into English.

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  • Wenn sich die Tanzer falten wie das Hemd eines Alltagstypen, 26 June 2001.

    Review of The Ends of Things in German with highlighted sections translated into English.

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  • Von Leonore Welzin, Kindfrau, Geisel und Verlobte, 26 June 2001.

    Review of The Ends of Things in German with highlighted sections translated into English.

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  • Ein tiefer Einblick in die Dinge, 27 June 2001.

    Review of The Ends of Things in German with highlighted sections translated into English.

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  • Tim Lloyd, Chequebooks fly at arts buyfest, The Advertiser, 19 March 1998.

    Tim Lloyd reviews the arts buyfest in which Lucy Guerin's pieces are purchased for future performance in Germany.

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  • Suzanne Brown, Begins with sound ideas, The Age, 20 October 2000.

    Suzanne Brown's review of The Ends of Things, 20 October 2000.

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  • Hilary Crampton, Routine of death, The Age, 23 October 2000.

    Hilary Crampton's review of The Ends of Things, 23 October 2000.

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  • Alison Barclay, Odds and Ends, Herald Sun, 24 October 2000.

    Alison Barclay's review of The Ends of Things, 24 October 2000.

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  • Ben Zipper, Review, Melbourne Festival Australia, 2000.

    Ben Zipper's review of The Ends of Things, published online.

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  • Neil Jillett, Dance review, The Age, 29 October 2000.

    Niel Jillett's review of The Ends of Things, 29 October 2000.

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  • Jill Skyes, Bean machine makes a powerful impact, Sydney Morning Herald, 31 October 2000.

    Jill Skyes' review of The Ends of Things, 31 October 2000.

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  • Review, Interval: Arts and Film Guide, 2000.

    Review of The Ends of Things in Interval: Arts and Film Guide, 2000.

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  • Georgia Safe, 'Risky' Bach puts fest in black, The Australia, 3 November 2000.

    Review of the Melbourne Arts Festival including brief reference to Lucy Guerin's The Ends of Things.

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  • Phillipa Rothfield, Falling, breaking and at and end, RealTime, 1 January 2000.

    Phillipa Rothfield's review of The Ends of Things, 1 January 2000.

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  • Media Release, Dance Theatre Workshop, 4 March 2003.

    Media release for the US premier of The Ends of Things and Melt at the Dance Theatre Workshop, New York, March 2003.

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  • Alice Kaderlan Halsey, Guerin's work goes from engaging to spellbinding, Arts & Entertainment online, 8 March 2003.

    Review of the US tour of Melt and The Ends of Things, published online.

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  • Kelly Clarke, Review, Willamette Week, 12 March 2003.

    Kelly Clarke reviews The Ends of Things in Portland, USA.

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  • Review of Melt and The Ends of Things, The Oregonian, 14 March 2003.

    Review of Melt and The Ends of Things in the Oregonian, published online.

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  • Review, Willamette Week, 19 March 2003.

    A small review of Melt and The Ends of Things, 19 March 2003.

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  • Molly Glentzer, She puts questions into motion, Houston Chronicle, 27 March 2003.

    Molly Glentzer's review of Lucy Guerin's performances Melt and The Ends of Things, 27 March 2003.

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  • Jenny Jackson, Warm characters in dance of cool abstraction, Ottawa Citizen, 8 April 2003.

    Jenny Jackson review's Melt and The Ends of Things, 8 April 2003.

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  • Jenny Jackson, Guerin company reveals its mystery of drama, Ottawa Citizen, 10 April 2003.

    Jenny Jackson second review of Melt and The Ends of Things, 10 April 2003.

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  • Gia Kourlas, Fire and Ice, Time Out New York, Issue 393.

    Gia Kourlas' review of Melt and The Ends of Things, Issue 393, 2003.

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  • Molly Glentzer, Guerin's choreography fuses concepts to dance, Houston Chronicle, 2003.

    Molly Glentzer's review of Melt and The Ends of Things for the Houston Chronicle published online.

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  • Catherine Thomas, Choreographer goes to extremes, The Oregonian, 17 March 2003.

    Catherine Thomas' review of Melt and The Ends of Things for the Oregonian, online transcript version.

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  • Jennifer Dunning, Stylish and brooding, like flashes of light, The New York Times, 2 May 2003.

    Jennifer Dunning reviews Melt and The Ends of Things for the New York Times, May 2003.

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  • Deborah Jowitt, Dancing on Strings, The Village Voice, May 2003.

    Deborah Jowitt's review of Melt and The Ends of Things, published online.

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  • Jill Skyes, Delight in surprises of the everyday, Herald Sun, November 2003.

    Jill Skyes review of Melt and The Ends of Things at the Studio Opera House, November 2003.

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  • Naomi Millett, Degrees of inspiration, West Australian, 15 November 2003.

    Naomi Millett review's Melt and The Ends of Things performance in Western Australia.

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Critical Analysis

  • Jonathan Marshall, Lucy Guerin Company's The Ends of Things.

    Jonathan Marshall writes about The Ends of Things, 21 October 2000.

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  • Shaun McLeod, Lucy Guerin: finality and new direction, October 2000.

    Shaun McLeod interviews Lucy Guerin.

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  • Melissa Blanco Borelli, Becomings and Belongings: Lucy Guerin's The Ends of Things, Brolga December 2009.

    Article by Melissa Blanco Borelli about The Ends of Things.

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collection items

  • Lucy Guerin Inc brochure for International Contemporary Dance Festival.

    Brochure for Lucy Guerin's performances Melt and The Ends of Things for the International Contemporary Dance Festival, October - November 2003.

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  • Dancers are Space Eaters, International Contemporary Dance Festival, 2003.

    Brochure for the International Contemporary Dance Festival, October-November 2003.

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  • Lucy Guerin Inc brochure for International Contemporary Dance Festival, October - November 2003.

    Lucy Guerin Inc brochure for International Contemporary Dance Festival, October - November 2003.

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  • Cutting edge talent for international dance festival.

    Cutting edge talent for international dance festival.

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Audio

  • NAME OF AUDIO: Lucy Guerin interviewed about the Archive

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

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