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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 23. 23rd September 1973

New Dance — The Plight of the Individual

New Dance — The Plight of the Individual

Gidday Roger,

Your review of New Dance drifted in here and I thought it was not bad for Salient, it was at least half right. Largish hunks of New Dance were puerile. But having lived with the bastards while doing their publicity I'm still impressed by Jack Body's pieces (and if you missed the first half you missed half of Jack).

Unlike most of the dancers Jack was getting into extremes... exploring human limits if you like. For a bourgeois company that 'destruction and orgy' sequence was a great leap forward (or backwards but SOMEWHERE).

The whole thing was politically blind but Jack Body was having a good look at the plight of the individual. The orgy went a lot further than the Eliot poem you dredged up. Eliot talks of "hollow men, stuffed men" Body removed men altogether. There were only hands, arms, masks, and violence. And if you'd been looking more acutely you'd have noticed that it wasn't an orgy ....when hands touched by accident they recoiled in instant repulsion. Somehow this was a little commentary on the rest of the show.. just like yours but you missed it.

Oh yeah. It would've been nice if other items had, as you put it, "inspired people to enjoy their own and other people's bodies better and more". It was lack of this dimension, rather than lack of content, which was wrong with the show.

And you might forgive a few of the puerile items which, to appease various wealthy donors, were expedients — just the same as the ads for Mobil, Borthwicks, Ford, National Mutual and Shell which Salient published in the pages following your review.


John Milne.