A group of dancers steal into an abandoned theatre. In a dressing room, they ready themselves with makeup and masks whilst others rehearse in a foyer lit by sunlight. When ready they climb onto a sparsely lit stage. A music box is heard to play. They line up, curtains are drawn and they perform to an empty theatre. Yet, yet there are lights, shadows and music.
Stupendous is a short film that describes through movement and observation a group of dancers who ready themselves for a thirty-second performance they will make within, what appears to be an empty theatre. Each of the dancers lives with Parkinson’s Disease.
The project began with the combination of two community grants from Boroondara and Bayside Councils. Longtime dance professionals Katrina Rank and Paris Wages both teach ongoing Dance for Parkinson’s classes in the Melbourne area. The collaboration brought individuals with Parkinson’s disease together from both their classes.
Andrew Garton, an Adjunct Industry Fellow, Media and Communications, Swinburne University, assembled a crew of students to assist with filming. The 7-minute film was shot at the historic Kew Courthouse over the course of two days. Along with the producers, participants were encouraged to play an active role in the creative process. The film boasts an art-for-art’s-sake approach to broadening the awareness of Parkinson’s disease, giving participants a creative voice.
- Directed by Katrina Rank, Paris Wages and Andrew Garton
- Produced and choreographed by Katrina Rank and Paris Wages
- Editor – Andrew Garton
- Cameras – Andrew Garton, Linh Kerr, Ujjwal Deepak Vadhani
- Sound – Jenni Aldred
- Boom – Cheng Shen Yee
- Theatre technician – Rob Parish
- Financials – Auspicious Arts
The film was supported by the City of Boroondara, City of Bayside, Rotary Club of Balwyn, Elance Adult Ballet and Media and Communications, Swinburne University of Technology.
Produced and directed by Katrina Rank, Paris Wages and Andrew Garton.
The producers of this film recognize the rich Aboriginal heritage of this country and acknowledge the Wurundjeri Wilam clan as the traditional owners of the land we had filmed upon.