The Linen Memorial
Canada Council for the Arts

Dance Choreography

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February 2004 Canberra: Transformation of Tears

Video & edit by J. Zutt

In 2004, the memorial was exhibited in Australia at a solo exhibition entitled ‘The Irish Linen Memorial: Transformation of Tears’. Collaborative creative processes over the previous two years resulted in achieving an interdisciplinary dimension to the memorial. In this particular gallery setting, the memorial was hung as a 'mourning ritual' in a series of inverted catenary arches. (see 2004 Canberra page)

Canberra Opening performance by Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, OAM, Choreographer of Mirramu Dance Company,  Founder of contemporary dance in Australia:

Three female dancers (maiden, mother, crone). expressed aspects of daily life which must go on in the face of unspeakable horror, such as washing and cleaning, all-the-while persons are grieving.

The performance-dance-movement piece was a twenty-minute work by the Canberra-based Mirramu Dance Company with Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman, OAM, as Artistic Director / Choreographer / Dancer, Vivienne Rogis, principal dancer and Amanda Miller.

There were performances about in 2002 & 2004 in Australia. The first was held on the eve of November 1st, between Hallowe’en and the Celtic New Year – traditionally a time of celebration of the liminal space between the worlds of the living and the dead; a time of honoring of one’s ancestors. This festive time of the year is very popular in Northern Ireland and is a time when there are celebrations across divided communities.

Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, is a pioneer of modernist and contemporary choreography. She has always worked on intercultural projects since the late 1960s. She runs Mirramu Dance Company. The dance-theatre work contextualized the unusual use of the handkerchiefs in a Northern Ireland conflict memorial. It helps an audience understand the inner human processes of grief and trauma. For example, the three dancers do a section with linen shrouds and another section with bandaging wounds. They also energize the space, such as the draped inverted archways.