#28: Top American choreographer in quarantine (1976)


23 August 2019

In 1976, Jaap Flier was keen to make his mark on the Company and commissioned the internationally renowned choreographer Remy Charlip to create a new work.

As a founding member of the Merce Cunningham Company, and creative partner of American composer John Cage, Charlip’s choreography was at the forefront of the New York postmodern dance movement. His innovative and energetic approach redefined ballet, and Flier was keen to bring both his work and unique creative process to the company.

Unexpected challenges arose when Australia’s stringent quarantine laws denied Charlip entry into the country, as he had not had his compulsory vaccination for yellow fever. Under trying circumstances, the company arranged for Charlip to send 40 sketches and in-depth choreographic notes to the dancers while he was in confinement. The company worked with the materials at hand, and when Charlip finally arrived in the studio the repertoire was pieced together to form the work Woolloomooloo Cuddle.

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