The Tennis Piece
Atlanta Eke
8 February - 23 March
Opening: Friday 8 February, 6-8pm

Dancers: Atlanta Eke, Annabelle Balharry, Ivey Wawn, Ellen Davies
Composer: Daniel Jenatsch
Architect: Tim Birnie
Builders: Dario Amati, Tim Birnie

Taking form as a tennis court and partial clubhouse, Atlanta Eke’s project performs as both an installation and platform for a series of choreographed activations. Initially appearing to riff off the southern hemisphere summer and the fervent interest in the Australian Open, the work instead draws upon a historical moment in the evolution of democratic society. Collapsing time and geographical context, The Tennis Piece revisits the 20th June 1789, when members of the French Third Estate (Tiers État) congregated in the city of Versailles and took the Tennis Court Oath (Serment du Jeu de Paume), a moment that would become a pivotal event toward the French Revolution. With the integrated performances taking cue from Renaissance dance and the collapsing of organised court dances and courting rituals, the (tennis) court becomes a site of adversarial competition wherein the players jostle for domination on both physical and psychological planes, against inferred competitors and literal projectiles.

Atlanta Eke is an artist, dancer and choreographer working in Australia and internationally, currently based in Jan Juc, Victoria. Recent projects and performances include Mother Holding Something Horrific: The Dance (in collaboration with Claire Lamb), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2017); The Unsettling, The National, Carriageworks, Sydney (2017); Fuck You Buddy, Dark Mofo, Hobart; and Liquid Architecture Festival, Melbourne (2017); Body Of Work, Vitalstatistix, Adelaide Festival (2016); Body Of Work, Les Plateuax, La Briquetterie National Centre, Paris Dance Biennale, Paris (2016); Adelaide Festival 2016; Dancehouse, Melbourne; and Perth Institute for Contemporary Art (2015–16); and Miss Universal, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2015). In 2014 Eke was awarded the inaugural Keir Choreographic Award.

Performances as part of The Tennis Piece at 7pm during the opening event.

Additional performances presented at Gertrude on:

Saturday 9 February, 2pm
Saturday 2 March, 2pm
Saturday 9 March, 2pm
Saturday 23 March, 2pm

Public Program (Real Tennis Lessons):

Saturday 16 Feb, 11am
Saturday 23 Feb, 11am

Atlanta Eke’s project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. 


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The Tennis Piece begins at Gertrude Contemporary exhibited as an installation and a series of choreographed activations before being presented by Dancehouse as a feature length performance at Collingwood Town Hall as a part of Dance Massive from 19 March 2019 - 21 March 2019. Tickets are available for purchase, by clicking HERE.

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To download the education resource for The Tennis Piece please, Click Here.