Since 2000 Liz Aggiss’ work has been primarily concerned with the hybrid aesthetic of single screen dance practice, resulting in the creation of two films Motion Control (Broadcast 2002) and Anarchic Variations (premiered 2002). Screen dance as a relatively new interdisciplinary art form merges two distinct disciplines and languages, dance and film, in a two-way discussion manipulating each process to produce an innovative relationship. Disrupting and challenging such symbolic boundaries invites a different way of perceiving an alternative kind of inter-relational experience. Screen mediated bodies displace the centre of gravity for both performer and audience providing new research interfaces, and explore questions of inter-corporeality within this mixed reality environment.
Anarchic Variations is a screen dance film produced with an Arts Council England Capture Award, made in collaboration with Billy Cowie. The Capture Initiative which started in 2001, following the end of the commissioning structure of the BBC Dance for Camera Awards in 2001, sought to test the market for developments in screen dance work, aiming to build expertise and explore creative potential of the chosen medium, research and develop the use of new and existing technology, and challenge and enhance existing notions and models of dance.
The treatment for Anarchic Variations was selected from 85 applications. Anarchic Variations received one of four £20K Awards. Shot on Digi-Beta, the piece aims to confound and disorientate the spectators’ view of reality, space, scale and sound based on the choreographic and musical idea of theme and variation. The neutral box space acts as a dynamic, antagonistic partner for the performer. The film uses technology (Commotion), and explores integrated body-hyper-sound component.
Research included; experimenting with visual design creating multifaceted textural leather overprinted costumes: developing appropriate dance language in relationship to camera in prototype spaces: testing and manipulating musical and choreographic speeds for post production revisions: testing false spatial perspectives, light and film grading techniques.
Anarchic Variations has toured nationally and internationally most notably at; IMZ Grimaldi Centre, Monaco, Monte Carlo 10-14/12/02, The Place London 17/12/02, Chichester Film Fest1/9/2003, MediaWaves Hungary 25/4-3/5/0303, Brighton Festival Corn Exchange 17-18/5/03, Edge Performance Festival, Gene Siskal Centre Chicago 23/10/03 , Invideo Milan 5-9/11/03, 20th Kasseler Dokumentarfilm und Videofest 11-16/11/03, Toronto Moving Picture 23-26/10/03, Alter-Native 11th International Film festival Madisz Romania 6-9/1103, IMZ Tanzmedial Koln May 2004, Dancebase Edinburgh August 04, 17th Instants video Numerique et Poetique Festival Marseilles 20-27/11/ 04 Walter Reade Theatre, Lincoln Centre, New York 7-8/1/05. It was included for a UK Tour curated by South East Dance 2003-2004 to Brighton, Alsager, Guildford, Chelmsford, Sheffield, Bath, Newcastle, Lancaster, Poole.
Anarchic Variations has been selected by Capture (the organization) in association with Netherlands Media Art Institute, for a curated exhibition of installations 2007/8. It received the Romanian National Office of Cinematography Prize 2003 and was given Special Mention at the Naples Film Festival 2004. Anarchic Variations is held at Invideo Archive Milan
Liz Aggiss commands respect within the worldwide screen dance community having given Performance/Presentations including Bath University, Invideo Milan November 2003 and American Dance Festival Durham University North Carolina, USA in 2006. She was invited onto the selection panel for Arts Council Capture 2003 Awards and is Chair of South East Dance Agency’s Screen Dance Forum. She is considered a leading worldwide exponent of the art form inspiring South East Dance Agency to specialise in screen dance and has been invited to be a member of the prestigious IMZ jury for dance screen at The Hague 15-18 Nov. 2007.
The following publication features a visual and textural record and discourse on Anarchic Variations; Anarchic Dance edited by Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie with Ian Bramley Pub. Routledge ISBN 0-415-36517-1.
John Rockwell wrote about the DFA festival which included Anarchic Variations: the most exciting dance films are ones in which the line between choreography and direction becomes impossible to discern, where the allusiveness of dance meets the intimacy of film to create a new kind of magic
The New York Times, Sunday, January 1, 2006 Arts & Leisure Section