Presented by Dancehouse
Sylvia Staehli Theatre
20 – Sun 22 MarchDance Massive 2015

10,000 small deaths is a solo dance performance exploring the poetics and immediacy of the body. The work foregrounds the experiential body and has been inspired by many sources along the way – from manga artist Takaya Miou to Jim Jarmusch’s film, Dead Man.

The linking thread between these various sources is a contemplation of the inextricable link between life and death and the continuous change and impermanence that mark our existence. The transience of our corporeality and the beauty and sadness of existence are meditated upon; personal and universal images merge; and there is an interplay between the real, the imagined and a seeking of what has not yet come into being.

Choreographed & Performed by Paula Lay
Video Artist & Dramaturge: Martyn Coutts
Composer & Sound Designer: Kelly Ryall
Filmmaker & Photographer: Mischa Baka
Lighting Designer & Operator: Amelia Lever-Davidson
Creative Consultant: Helen Herbertson

Image: Gregory Lorenzutti for Dancehouse


“Pleasantly different to much of the other work presented in Dance Massive this past fortnight, 10,000 Small Deaths is a promising start for a young dance maker exploring delicacy and death”

-Chloe Smethurst, The Age

“10,000 Small Deaths is a work of fine details and surreal minimalism. Alone on stage, Lay is sinewy, fragile and powerful. Her use of video is artful and dramatic while the expressionist lighting isolates her in dark space, a moment of life in a blackness stretching forever beyond. This is a beautiful, brooding work of both struggle and surrender. “

-Paul Ransom, The Music

“Perfectly suited to the dark embrace of Dancehouse’s Sylvia Staehli Theatre, my eyes sought to bring the form into focus, as I was drawn into the very fabric of the work. Its texture: velvet. And earth, sparked by fireflies… there is an interplay between the real, the imagined and a seeking of what has not yet come into being.”

-Gracia Haby, Fjord Review


The Age Dance Massive Feature
The Age