120 Birds

120 Birds Project snapshot

The rise and fall of an Australian dance company that toured the world in the 1920s and 1930s, discovering new worlds, breaking norms, falling in love – all through the world of dance.

120 Birds is a new company work based around the international touring of 1920s dance companies and artists such as Anna Pavlova, Ruth Denishawn and Florence Broadhurst. A company of four performers reveal a rich texture of characters against a backdrop of film, photography, fashion and fiction.

Liz Lea continues to explore her distinctive choreographic style in the development of the performers, using gesture, expression and physicality in contemporary movement enhanced by the Charleston, Tango and Waltz. Humorous and poignant, and named after the 120 birds Anna Pavlova toured to Australia with in 1929, the work is not a history lesson but rather a celebration of dance steeped in history and humor.

Lea plays the company ‘Madam’/Director, recounting the story of her fictional dance troupe as it travels the world in the 1920s and 30s, from rags to riches – and rags again.



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