The Jerdacuttup Wheat Bin was the most remote destination in Ausdance WA’s Future Landings 2013 season. This thirty-six year old Wheat Bin is an icon of the Wheatbelt acting as a reminder to the community of the significance of good and bad harvests. Its immense size allowed it to hold 31,533 tons of wheat back in 1999, but it’s empty now, except on Saturday 12 October 2013 it was filled with dance, story and film to create Wheel of Fortunes.
Wheel of Fortunes has been created by Perth choreographer Aimee Smith with Denmark-based writing facilitator Nicola-Jane le Breton and the communities of Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe and Jerdacuttup. The show explores the concepts of richness and loss in these communities and is performed entirely by locals.
The region has a long and deep history of growth and demise, shaped largely by the ebbs and flows of both the mining and farming industries as well as its unique geographic isolation. These places are filled with stories of opportunity and risk, of success and failure, of joy and sadness. Through working closely with the writers of the towns, and integrating text with the performance, the communities’ cycles of fortunes, and misfortunes, and the resilience that has blossomed through it all, are revealed.
Every time I come to this community I’m blown away by the generosity I’m shown and the unbelievable Duracell battery energy that seems to run the creative community in this town. The literature that emerged during the community writing sessions really moved me and brought some incredible stories of hardship, endurance, and joy to the surface. Aimee Smith
Local filmmaker, Amber Perryman has created a series of films that evoke the environment, the rain, the history. These films were projected inside the Wheat Bin and the corrugated iron textured the film while local voices spoke local memories.
On Saturday 12 October, the buses rolled in from all over the district bringing 300 people to witness a performance that could only be made here, about these people and their lives. Wheel of Fortunes was performed by nineteen people, aged 13 – 70 years.
Aimee Smith – Director
Aimee Smith is an award winning choreographer and dance artist working locally and internationally. In 2011 she was nominated for the WA Dance Award for Most Outstanding Choreography, received the 2007 award for emerging artist and has been recognised as Most Interesting Australian Artist in the 2007 and 2010 Dance Australia Critic’s Survey. She has created numerous works including Wintering (2012 Next Wave Festival, Melbourne), Accidental Monsters of Meaning (The Western Australian Museum), Breakings (PICA), December 30, 2008 (Darpana’s Vikram Sarabhai Festival, India), Fragments of a fracture (TaipeIdea at TNUA, Taiwan), Refund Policy (BUZZ Dance Theatre) and many more. Aimee’s international residencies include Kyoto Art Center, Taipei Artist Village and the Artic Circle Project. Aimee’s experience in facilitating community created performance includes Future Landings 2011, TranscenDANCE for Esperance community Arts and Make Your Move for AWESOME Arts.
Nicola-Jane le Breton – Writing Facilitator
Nicola-Jane le Breton is an experienced writing facilitator and her achievements include developing a series of life writing, nature writing, poetry and journaling workshops and projects in her hometown of Denmark, WA. Nicola facilitated the community writing and scripting components of two dance theatre performance, Our Secret River and Solace + Yearning for Brave New Works Festivals #17 and #19. Similarly she facilitated community writing workshops and scripting that created the multi-media theatre piece titled UNRAVELLING: Denmark Stories (with Director, Silvia Lehmann).
Amber Perryman – Filmmaker
Amber Perryman completed a BA (Hons) Visual Culture at Falmouth College of Art & Design in 1998 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Media Design Caledonian University in 2007. Now based in Ravensthorpe, Amber has worked in business and arts administration, freelance graphic design, youth and community support work and education and youth art workshop facilitation. This year Amber’s short film (made with collaborator Kier Perryman), Once upon a Time won the Esperance competition for Revelation Film Festival’s Rev on the Road.