Arts House chat: Jo Lloyd

Confusion For Three is Melbourne-based dance artist Jo Lloyd’s new work that runs at Arts House in North Melbourne 26 to 30 August.

Since graduating from VCA, Lloyd has presented work at the Melbourne Festival and Melbourne Now, worked in Japan and Hong Kong, and with artists and companies including Shelley Lasica, Chunky Move, Sandra Parker, Prue Lang, Ros Warby, Shian Law, Frances d’Ath, Yellow Wheel, Back to Back Theatre, Ranters Theatre, Nicola Gunn and visual artists Stephen Bram, David Rosetzky and Alicia Frankovich.

This new work is described as and “hypnotic tension generated by three dancers as they negotiate a progressively unravelling system of choreography” or as Lloyd says, “we … know what might happen but not what will happen”.

Confusion for Three. Shian Law & Rebecca Jensen. Photo by Gregory Lorenzutti
Confusion for Three. Shian Law & Rebecca Jensen. Photo by Gregory Lorenzutti


How do you describe your show to your friends?
A bit crazy in that we (the performers) know what might happen but not what will happen. From the beginning I set the agenda to make a work I didn’t know how to make and to make the work I would like to perform in and witness. It was a great shift in my process, allowing for a work that is much more ‘live’, where the performers and I, as well as the composer, are required to construct the work each time it happens, based on particular perimeters.

Who or what inspires you outside of theatre?
Documentaries and my children’s creativity. They show me movements that they want me to include in my work, and they are always very fascinating, original and less conscious pathways.

What was your first idea for this show?
To make a work I don’t know how to make. I didn’t want to make something familiar to me, I was curious about how else I and the other performers could reveal our thinking through specific choreographic attempts. I worked solo to begin with, identifying what movement was generated in my own body and I wrote down the word confusion. I then had the major task of passing this vocabulary on to the other two dancers and creating a work which could function, but was without restrictive definition to the point of removing the initial essence I found.

Did it make it into the final work?
Yes, I am still attempting this in the rehearsals at the moment and we will carry on this approach in the performance of the work. It’s terrifying at times, but I think it has the possibility to be much more exciting for both the performer and the audience.

Have you ever been in an audience and walked out of a show before it finished?
No, I’ve wanted to, but it would have been cruel on the performers.

What advice can you give to emerging artists about making their own work and finding their voice?
Work on your craft, go where the love is and you never know who’s in the audience.

Confusion for Three
26–30 August

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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