This research practice has resulted in two Performance Lectures: Survival Tactics and Hi Jinx. These embodied presentations are a response to the relationship between archive and repertoire, researcher and performer. Investigating the shifting nature of live practice, this research takes new narratives from old forms, attends to the transgressive, subversive expressive aging and fleshy body that exceeds expectations of what ‘this’ particular dancing body should be doing and where she should be doing it, whilst developing live routes that push boundaries of presentation within conventional dance practice. These initiatives demonstrate the relationship between fact and fiction, and ask the audience to consider a fresh approach to contextualising practice within a broad contemporary dance framework.
Survival Tactics contextualises Professor Aggiss’ 30 years research practice within a performance lecture, fusing live, screen and text based work and asks the question: how does a mature post-modern solo female dancer originally from a bleak post war suburb in Essex, with a feverish commitment to the lost dances of Central Europe, a deep fascination with the dance past, and a rather ad hoc and irregular dance education, seek out the shadows from the past, stalk them relentlessly and embed and sustain herself within the British dance culture for the past 30 years? Using reconstruction, representation, demonstration, archive, fact and fiction, practice and theory, Survival Tactics pays homage to all factual and fictional mentors who have shaped, framed and informed practice and raises the question: where does a dance education begin and end and how does the artist secure a future within the current climate of British contemporary dance?
Hi Jinx was nominated for the most inspirational performance in Tempo Festival 2010 Auckland New Zealand.
'Hilarious lecture by mad Professor'
The opening moments of Liz Aggiss’ dance lecture are heart stopping. With an ear splitting explosion of sound, a huge pair of oxblood red Doc Martin boots and ankles plummet to earth. Their image leaps from the screen and takes the audience by the throat. Just as the pulse return to normal the image fades and Aggiss enters in person……….It is a totally compelling and profoundly hilarious hour. Aggiss operates on multiple levels. As a stand up comedienne, her timing is faultless, her gags both sophisticated and occasionally rude. She is a character dancer of wit, daring and the ultimate nuance. The Joint dance is excruciatingly funny, the Nijinska recreation a masterful evocation of an era gone by……..her films….are eye wateringly beautiful – even in this most cynical of settings – with their weirdness perfectly integrous to the occasion………she is a rare and wonderful talent from well outside the square.
(Bernadette Rae Weekend Herald New Zealand 9/10/10)
Hi Jinx pays homage to the ‘mythic’ seminal early twentieth century dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Heidi Dzinkowska. This Performance Lecture crumbles icons and rules and asks: why do we create historical icons? Exploring artifice, both on stage and screen, this Performance Lecture is constructed as a documentary theatre offering expert witness and exposing theatrical devices. Attending to the impact of fiction in real stories alongside fictionalising history, Hi Jinx devises a method to create an authentic history and aims to dissolve distinction between fact and fiction and offer both as real experiences. The construction of authenticity on stage is both contradiction and artificial and this intellectual performance ‘game’ discriminates, deconstructs and distinguishes fiction from non-fiction.
Hi Jinx is a comment to the spectator’s willingness to be manipulated, but also to our position as voyeurs.
Anna Ãngstrom Svenska Dagbladet 2006-09-03
2008 Rensselaer Institute, Troy USA, http://empac.rpi.edu/events, The Point Eastleigh
2006 IMZ Screen Dance Festival Corn Exchange Brighton, ADF Durham University, North Carolina USA, Shoot Festival, Modernes Theatre Stockholm Sweden, Kinodance Festival, British Council Offices St Petersburg Russia