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Stopping Thinking, 2005, oil on canvas, 26 x 26 cm


Personal Space


Watson Place, Melbourne
30 August - 24 September 2005


Dancing. So much depends on the rhythm and whether a rampant beat or teasing bassline can tempt you into its embrace. Music moves us with a syncopated seduction. It’s almost impossible to dance in silence.

Surrounded by hundreds of strangers or by friends, we disappear into our own space taking moments of flight between each beat. It's in those fragments that Penelope Aitken has caught her dancers - off-kilter and suspended in reverie. In this series, she freezes fleeting gestures into permanent images, and wonders whether their steps are universal or beholden to a particular era?

“Does a single dance move date as obviously as clothes or haircuts? Everyone would recognise John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever pose but what about the subtle gestures that link these classic poses.”

Do we bring our own associations to surmise their time and place?
“At parties, games parlours, raves and karaoke bars – different beats dictate the dancing. The best times are when you lose yourself inside the music and forget about the world around you. When the music ends, sadly, self-consciousness returns.”

Take the times you've been dancing. When motion is liberated from direction... or necessity. Spirited. Suffused with melody. Free. Late at night and into the pale light of new days. In your own world.

Freya Lombardo, August 2005


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