• Inhabiting the cityscape of Perth, revealing our characters bit by bit over the 2-week season. A duo with colleague Jacqui Otago, supported by City of Perth, Landtrack Systems, Raine Square, Central Park and Brookfield.

  • THE AUSTERITY PROJECT photographic exhibition was presented at pod gallery for Craft Council, Canberra ACT, inside the brand new Lonsdale Street Traders complex. We hung this inaugural exhibition which featured the photographic works of many of our media collaborators including ourselves as dancer-photographers.

    25 October - 2 November 2012.

    Camera: Alex Moffatt. Bodies: Rachel Sweeney and Marnie Orr. During the live performance on opening night.
  • On behalf of the Association for Phenomenology in Performance Studies (APPS) Dr Rachel Sweeney (UK and Australian National University) and Marnie Orr (WA Academy of Performing Arts) present research seminar:TITLE: 
    Inscribing Movement: articulating strategies for live writing processes

    Department of Performance Studies, University of Sydney
    Seminar Series
    3-5pm Friday 19 October 2012

    This workshop/lecture will introduce some of the distinct writing processes that are generated through Orr & Sweeney's live research practices based around themes of dance ecology. Working through exposure to specific sites using immersive and durational methods, the body is exposed to certain sensory data that offers the writer information through an immediate somatic-empathetic framework, within environmental performance practice. 

    This session will articulate certain strategies for developing sense based languages as a means of reflecting and transcribing perceptual modes of engagement, whilst considering the notion of dance as a live writing practice and the dancer as self-inscribing entity.

    Since 2007 Orr & Sweeney have co-facilitated residential research intensives in remote and regional locations in UK and Australia, developing a method for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary live performance practices based in site, bringing together professionals from land science and various arts disciplines. Their work is centred around new knowledge construction formed out of immersive performance ecology acts that occur between the boundaries of live art, new media and physical performance. Since 2006 they have developed an ongoing Embodied Research Forum – a nomadic platform that invites visual artists, archaeologists, architects, ecologists, environmentalists, choreographers, designers and geologists to partake in sense led physical explorations of land through immersive practices. Orr & Sweeney’s approach is informed by contemporary choreographic practice and advocates a critical cultural dialogue between audience, performer and environment that actively seeks new performance vocabularies and language exchanges across disciplines to contribute to a wider sustainability discourse. Their work has been performed widely throughout the UK and Australia, supported by the Centre for Sustainable Futures (UK) the Centre for Interdisciplinary Arts (WA), CRAFT Council, ACT and PLaCE International Research Centre, University of West England. Dr Rachel Sweeney is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, ANU and lectures in Performance Studies at Liverpool Hope University, UK.  Marnie Orr is a choreographer and independent arts producer and currently lectures at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.

    IMAGE: Body: Rachel Sweeney. Camera: Marnie Orr. Braidwood, NSW. (C) 2012 Orr & Sweeney.

  • I presented regular dance training and workout sessions to Perth's own Ochre Contemporary Dance Company, with indigenous and non-indigenous dancers from around the world. Their focus is on Aboriginal cultura, and the Bodyweather training fitted well on their work. The training was specifically designed in communication with choreographer Jacob Lehrer. Each session altered according to the focus of the tasks for that day.

    Additional to maintaining strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, alignment and grounding, the sessions addressed dancers' perceptual frameworks of movement by engaging them in ways that are not necessarily familiar to established dance practices.

    Presented throughout September and October in preparation for Diaphonous, choreographed by Tammi Gisell and Jacob Lehrer.

    For dancer/performers and photographers working in collaboration to develop shared language across the artforms. Presented in Perth Hills in collaboration with Rachel Sweeney as the first event for Orr & Sweeney's Australian Tour, Shifting States. Some of the photographic artworks were exhibited in October in Craft Council Canberra's brand new gallery, pod.

    Image credits in order:
    Body: Rachel Sweeney. Camera: Jan Harmse.
    Body: Marnie Orr. Camera: Rad Young.
    Body: Marnie Orr. Camera:  Rad Young.
    Body: Jacqui Otago. Camera:Jack Allen.

    The photographs shown here represent the broad range of contemporary art product resulting from my co-facilitation with Rachel. We focused on the language of texture and our surroundings as subject / material. This lead to a larger focus on engaging with site and body as material.

  • For Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre, collaborated with Anne Sorensen. We further developed a concept and a design framework within which the youth participants engaged to co-create the final artworks. Four big banners were hung in the Culture Centre on Williams Street, Perth, presented as part of Migrant Week in August.
  •  Marnie starts the 'final leg' of her Masters.
  • Orr & Sweeney publish their first joint peer reviewed journal article entitled, Surface Tensions: Land and Body Relations Through Live Research Inquiry: ROCKface.
    Link to full journal article
  • A co-facilitated workshop in December 2011

  • For PLace / Land2  Visiting Speaker Series, dance ecologists Rachel Sweeney and Marnie Orr
  • A collaboration with dancer Rachel Sweeney and photographer Luke Briffa in Melbourne, June 2010. The project is a result of an ongoing conversation between the three artists regarding the reading of the body through the photographic frame. What is the interplay between site and body in driving the reading of images? What happens when modern day objects also interact with site and body in relation to framing?

  • Presenting at ADSA Conference July 2011, Melbourne (Monsah University). ADSA is Australasian Drama Studies Association

    WORKSHOP title: Shifting States: Engaging Physicality and Embodied Response Within Instant Movement Composition

    Orr and Sweeney (Marnie Orr and Dr Rachel Sweeney) have been directing site based cross arts workshops across the UK and Australia since 2006. Their distinct movement approach advocates an intercultural distillation of both Butoh and Bodyweather practices, focusing on the articulation of energy, presence and kinaesthetic awareness within instant movement composition.

    The workshop is designed to highlight the role of physical perception in performance practice, providing tools for recognising and defining shifting perceptual states that
    might provoke embodied response.

    The workshop will begin with a somatic interrogation of the body’s anatomic structures, identifying out relationship to gravity, speed and distance. Maintaining a heightened sensitivity to one’s individual architecture as to the surrounding space, we will work with psychophysical response, imagistic metaphor and the transferral of physical properties, to define strategic shifts of focus and directorial/choreographic perspectives within improvisational practice. In broadening the language of these properties and characteristics that engage physicality, the moment of decision making expands, as does the
    opportunity for others to observe it. By accessing the immediate existing information from the environment, whether it is people, the performer’s own state or memory, objects, or the immediate place, the performer’s physicality becomes highly engaged and articulate. 

    Link to full abstract

  • Art intersects with remote farmers after floods.
  • Orr & Sweeney present their own brand of contemporary
  • For International Theatre Director's Forum, Centre Performance Research

  • Sculpture Walk Art Installation, entitled Globules.
    Presented at Stream Dreaming Digital Media & Arts Festival, Bridgetown. Jan 2010.

    Globules of blood, warming globes. How will we be in 3010?

    Marnie Orr in collaboration with visual artist Alana Grant presents a 40m x 20m installation of giant red globules along the grassy banks of the Blackwood River, Bridgetown. The installation formed part of the Sculpture Walk for the Stream Dreaming Digital Media and Arts Festival, January 2010. Professional artists were invited to install their works through a curated process engaging artists with the site and site-based installation process. Marnie Orr was one of the curators of the Walk, alongside Alana Grant and Festival producer Justin Morrissey.
  • With Justin Morrissey, and the unending help of a fabulous team, cast and crew. Featured: Jessica Lewis (front) and Simon Wise (behind). Live raw image from the dance streams'main show, presented as a 3 progressive multimedia dance performances staged over 3 days in 3 locations. Each night the story unfolds a little more.
  • WA talent: Dancer Jess Lewis in Inhabitate dance performance

    22-24 JANUARY 2010

    Inhabitate Blackwood Dance and Art Installation Programme
    during Bridgetown's 2010

    Inhabitate Multimedia Dance – main event
    Sat 7:30pm
    Blackwood River Park

    An outdoor multi-media dance performance spectacle along the Blackwood River and under the town bridge. Featuring a talented WA cast & crew of 9 artists, Inhabitate is a cross-cultural exploration combining Australian stories and other collected accounts of water and fire.

    The narrative unfolds over several days – prologuing at Friday’s Karafilis Winery opening, concluding during Sunday’s markets engaging with the River Walk sculptures, with the main event on Saturday evening.

    Inhabitate Dance – Prologue performance
    Fri 22 Jan, from 6pm
    Karafilis Winery Opening
    A brief dance performance introducing the Inhabitate story.
    $30 tickets. Dress: Smart. Food & full evening of music & dance entertainment included.

    Inhabitate Dance – Epilogue performance
    Sunday, during the markets, from 10am
    Blackwood River Park.
    Free event.
    Come check out the sculpture walk along the river!
    A dance performance installation concluding the story.

    Dance: Carly Armstrong (Canberra), Stuart Ashbil (WA), Jess Lewis (WA), Michelle Outram (NSW)
    Sound: Kinshin Riders (UK)
    Lighting: Simon Wise (NSW)
    Video: Mia Holton (S Africa), Justin Morrissey (WA) with dancing by Quindell Orton (WA)
    Creative Producer: Marnie Orr (WA)

    BACKGROUND of Inhabitate programme
    Over January/February and June/July 2009, a total of sixteen local, interstate and overseas media and dance/performance artists collaborated across their disciplines researching the lived body’s relation to place. Led by Marnie Orr, various intensive projects were held at either end of the Yilgarn crator – Australia’s biggest single formation mantle rock (granite), in both the hills of Perth and in local significant sites surrounding Bridgetown. Investigations ranged from sense perception to biodiversity and were held in consultation with local environment groups. The Inhabitate Blackwood programme is the latest presentation of that ongoing research.



    Extraordinary talent is often leaving the state, but not for Inhabitate, an outdoor multimedia dance show presented on Bridgetown’s Blackwood River, literally! Next weekend before Australia Day, local producer Marnie Orr brings the cast & crew of 12 to Bridgetown’s Stream Dreaming Digital Media Arts & Film Festival, 22-24 January 2010.

    Combining local, national and overseas creative talent, Inhabitate brings together contemporary dance, original and ‘mashup’ electronic sounds, lighting, site-specific installation, video projections, costume, and writing.

    As the audience follows the performance along the river's course, the dance develops along and in the water, featuring a boat, oversized balloons and a giant parachute dress. All this with the magnificent backdrop of the 25 metre-high Bridgetown bridge!

    Stories and local experiences of fire, water, love and work make up the various themes within the piece.

    Tickets available via the Bridgetown Visitor Centre for $15 adults.
    Phone 9761 1740


    AND Stone Bros FEATURE FILM FOLLOWS THE DANCE SHOW, starring Luke Carroll. City based Eddie sets off on a road trip to reconnect with his blackfella roots by taking a sacred stone back to his hometown.***
  • Cross-artform research project, 11-15 July 2009.

  • Surface Tensions
    Body | Land | Relation

    Immersive Physical Workshop
    for dance and visual artists

    4 - 7 July 2009
    Hovea, Perth Hills

    Cost: $300 full / $260 conc.
    Includes 4xnights basic accom, & food.
    More info: http://orrandsweeney.blogspot.com
    Contact Marnie — e: dance at filtered dot com / ph: 0412 115 925



    Durational Performance, Kalamunda National Park (precise location tbc)

    Sun 15 March, 2pm – 6pm

    Marnie Orr's residency will culminate in a site-based durational performance in the biodiversity hotspot of Kalamunda National Park in Perth’s foothills (newly named Mundy Regional Park).
    The performance will presents site specific work of performers from the Movement Laboratory training. Over an intensive 4-day period (12 – 15 February) the Performance Lab will develop vocabulary to be presented over a durational period of time to the public/invited guests within the capacity of a Self-Sustained Activity, [SSA].

    SSA is a concept developed from Marnie’s InVivo-based research following Bodyweather training with Tess de Quincy (1998 - 2001) and Frank van de Ven in 2006 (Bodyweather Amsterdam).
    RSVP: thebodyplot@bigpond.com - Directions will be supplied.

  • INHABITATION Kalamunda
    performance program - front & back
    A free 4-hour performance in the bush.
    15 March 09, 2pm–6pm
    Kalamunda National Park - Piesse Brook.
    FOLLOW SIGNS FROM HUMMERSTON ROAD, LEFT ONTO SCHIPP ROAD at the bottom of the hill, opposite Aldersyde Road.
    NEAREST FACILITIES - 6 mins drive at Jorgensen Park)
    performance program - inside
    We will be walking for no more than 15 minutes into the bush from the carpark.

    (Image: Performer Caitlin McLoughlin from Marnie Orr’ s most recent outdoor performance series for Bridgetown Film Festival. Taken in Maslin Reserve where the bush was devastated by fire in January. Photo: Marnie Orr.)

    ‘INHABITATION Kalamunda’ is a contemporary performance in the bush, presented in a stunning ‘biodiversity hotspot’ within Kalamunda National Park (recently re-named Mundy Regional Park). Local professional performers Michelle Outram, Maitland Schnaars, Caitlin McLoughlin and Thomas Kelly are from different backgrounds including dance, physical theatre and live art/performance art and come together for this unique performance under the direction of dance maker Marnie Orr.

    Audiences are invited to view and observe from the shade of nearby trees and are free to move around the site. The presentation lasts for four hours so come and go as you please. Bring a rug. We will be walking 15 minutes into the bush.

    Unlike street theatre the four performers are not on stage, but are bodies moving in the land negotiating the terrain. In this way, the performance aspires to feature the surrounds, rather than the bodies constantly being the focus. For instance, the image above taken during Marnie Orr’s last presentation in Bridgetown shows performer Caitlin McLoughlin responding to the realities of the fire devastation that this Bridgetown location, Maslin Reserve, underwent.

    This new style of performance brings to the forefront people’s relation to their environments, where the place that the performance occurs drives the meaning of the work.

    Choreographer Marnie Orr describes her art as live research, where performers work within highly structured improvisation. Marnie has been presenting site-based dance work since 1999, having recently returned to her home town of Perth after four years performing throughout UK and Europe. As part of a 6-week artist residency at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Arts (CIA) in West Perth, Marnie coached the performers in a style of physical training called Bodyweather which has been developing world-wide since it began in Japan in the late 70’s.

  • Performers: Thomas Kelly; Gina Knight; Caitlin McLoughlin; Justin Morrissey; Maitland Schnaars.
    On 31 January 40 people from surrounding towns Nannup, Manjimup as well as Bridgetown attended the Saturday night Inhabitation Performance and Film Festival screenings on the beautiful Blackwood River. Over a two hour period performers presented a series of works along the bank and under the bridge.
    Composing the performance over three days, I worked the performers into the local sites with the aim of hi-lighting the stunning natural features of the river and the workmanship of the fully jarrah constructed bridge. The commitment and rigour of the performers made the whole experience incredibly fulfilling. And from feedback from audience, an immersing experience to remember.

    photos: Marnie Orr

    photos: Kim Perrier

  • Stills: Marnie Orr

    At dawn on 3 February the four of us worked at Ascot Waters, 2kms up river from Perth city, Western Australia. We worked strongly toward images & footage for projection for Media Jam. After Mia edited the footage, the projections in the Jam were integrated into the CIA architecture. Above are some of the stills.
  • Media Jam program - front & back
    Media Jam program - inside
    The MEDIA JAM is a multi-roomed, multimedia performance presented at CIA, Centre for Interdisciplinary Art in West Perth, Western Australia, 15 February 2009.

    The performance ran as a pilot project for Adobe Connect, running its virtual environment throughout the 4 spaces. Audiences were invited to live input into the environment, as they view what else is happening across the spaces.

    Images below are taken from rehearsals and the live performance, all copyright (C) 2009 Marnie Orr.

     Bodies: Maitland Schnaars, Meg Norris. Installed in glass box.
    Adobe Connect virtual space projected live into the main space.
    Media Jam was a pilot project for the software's development.
    Body: Quindell Orton.

    Bodies: Maitland Schnaars (behind), Meg Norris (front)
    Bodies: Maitland Schnaars (front), Thomas Kelly (behind screen), Michelle Outram (top level).
    Sound artists Kinshin Riders (aka Alex McKee, front left) and Dana Ogle (front right) jam with performers Maitland Schnaars, Thomas Kelly, Gina Knight (background).