Reminiscence: A dancer's journey through loss and grief.

 Lucy Doherty in a frame from her short dance film Reminiscence. Cinematography: Patrick Mazzolo

Lucy Doherty in a frame from her short dance film Reminiscence. Cinematography: Patrick Mazzolo

Perhaps one of the most universal human experiences of all is the inevitability of loss, and its recurring emotional impact on each of us throughout our lives. Yet the enduring impact of loss (in all its forms) is something we seldom dwell on outside of our own private spheres. Australian dancer and choreographer Lucy Doherty has counteracted this in the most touching way imaginable, releasing her poignant and evocative short dance film Reminiscence earlier this year. The film is the latest instalment in a series of short dance pieces that explores the trauma of grief, and Lucy's own personal experience with losing her mother to breast cancer in 2014. The project, which is called 'Dancing for Jane' (after Lucy's mother) began three years ago when Doherty started creating a body of work that transfers the intimate and personal experience of loss into a tangibly evolving journey. And whilst the journey is unique to Doherty, the indelible aftermath of losing a loved one is not. "Loss and grief are inevitable parts of the human experience," says Doherty, "yet they are topics that are seldom discussed in day to day life. Understandably so, it can be hard to talk about these kinds of things. I find there is not much room for us to grieve and be vulnerable in a world that demands professionalism and perfection daily."  

Selected stills from Doherty's three short films, 6Teen Dream, Mandala and Reminiscence.


The Dancing for Jane project now consists of three raw and viscerally moving pieces: 6Teen Dream, Mandala and the emotional climax of the work to date, Reminiscence. Not only do they document a timeline of grief, they also offer as much of a cathartic release for viewers as they clearly have for Doherty: "By creating these films and by using my language of dance, I have been able to take some time to reflect on loss, to allow this journey through grief and healing to speak and to share with much more depth and articulation than my words ever could. Creativity has been such a powerful part of my healing process and I am grateful for these opportunities to speak and share through the mediums of movement and film."

All three short films also feature the stunning work of cinematographer and editor Patrick Mazzolo,
view the series below.

Part III. Reminiscence by Lucy Doherty

"When we lose somebody we love, it is natural to seek the emotional support they once provided to us in other people, relationships and circumstances, when really the comfort we are seeking and ultimately our healing is already existent within us. The deepest bonds of love cannot be broken, rather they become a part of us and are calling us to remember what is already there."

Conceptualised & Directed by Lucy Doherty
Choreographed & Performed by Lucy Doherty & Sarah Boulter
Cinematography & Editing by Patrick Mazzolo

 

Part II. Mandala by Lucy Doherty

In Loving Memory of Jane Doherty & Pearl Allen. "Mandala" is the second instalment of Lucy's ongoing dance film series & was created in memory of her mother Jane as well as her grandmother Pearl who passed away the year this film was made. "Mandala" was nominated and shortlisted for an Australian Dance Award in 2017 for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film. 

Choreographed by Lucy Doherty
Conceptualised & Performed by Lucy Doherty
Cinematography & Editing by Patrick Mazzolo

 

Part I. 6Teen Dream by Lucy Doherty

"6Teen Dream" is the first instalment of an on-going dance film series created by Lucy Doherty. The "Dancing For Jane" Film Series is an annual project intending to accumulate as a visual journey of grief & healing over time. Lucy lost her mother to breast cancer in 2014 and is endeavouring to release a short dance film each year in tribute to her mum, marking the anniversary of her passing as well as reflecting on Lucy's personal journey with grief and loss.

Choreographed by Lucy Doherty
Conceptualised & Performed by Lucy Doherty
Cinematography & Editing by Patrick Mazzolo
Music by Govs

 

Follow Lucy on Facebook and instagram to stay up to date with the Dancing for Jane series and other projects.
www.lucyjanedoherty.com

 

Article by Elly Ford
Films and video stills courtesy of Lucy Doherty

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