Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016
Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival, San Francisco, 2017
Australian Deaf Games Opening Ceremony, Albury, 2018
Using Banksy’s graffiti artwork Mobile Lovers as a reference point, Distraction Society is a highly visual and physical dance duet, which examines the forces of attraction, attention and distraction in relationships.
Distraction Society explores how technology is changing society and us, in personal ways and during intimate moments – explored from Deaf and hearing perspectives. Through a series of duets, the dancers explore giving attention to the distraction, the attraction of distraction, and using distraction as focus. Banksy’s Mobile Lovers is a powerful image. The artwork represents how technology is morphing the society in which we live especially how we connect with our physical space and others around us. Research shows that people touch their phones 85 times a day but we rarely touch another human with intention. The link between a person’s wellbeing and physical contact is well documented. We crave physical human connection. We crave to be connected with the world. But with people and events happening all around us we tune into our phones rather than the physical reality around us. I invited Amanda to collaborate with me to explore a question: What does decreasing physical contact and increasing contact with an immaterial plane of existence mean for the development of humanity?
Distraction Society was supported by Melbourne Fringe’s Compass Mentoring Program, an inclusive artist development initiative, which supports artists from diverse backgrounds to take part in a six-month mentorship program to present their first Fringe work.
Distraction Society was breathtaking.The Plus Ones (2016)
Choreographer/Producer/Performer Anna Seymour
Co-choreographer/Performer Amanda Lever
Phone Performers Jon Clarke, Hilary Fisher, Benji Hoopmann and Ramas McRae
Sound Designer Gillian Lever
Light Designer Bronwyn Pringle
Tech Operator Jennifer Piper
Visual Artist Luke King
Mentor Vanessa Pigrum
Image Credit Pippa Samaya
At times it felt as if the audience was breathing as one with the dancers, the emotive journey was made all the more powerful for it. This graceful, emotive and captivating work serves as a timeless remind that if we are not absolutely present, we are truly missing the most exceptional moment of our lives.The Plus Ones (2016)
Explored in a beautiful way, Distraction Society was not only neatly and beautiful performed by both Seymour and Lever, but also evocative with its meaning in a very enchanting way.Australian Arts Review (2016)