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On intimacy in isolation

by | Apr 4, 2022 | Arts, Erin M McCuskey |

‘Intimacy in Isolation’ is a short cinè film created in collaboration by filmmaker Erin M McCuskey, pianist Bronwyn Blaiklock and dancer Lily Paksas. It was commissioned by Bronwyn Blaiklock with funding from Regional Arts Victoria and was produced between lockdowns of 2021.

Hello my name is Erin McCuskey, cinè artist. I’ve been asked to introduce our film, the Bronwyn, Erin, Lily film. And yes, you have already seen it, felt it, and you will see it again before this evening is done. 4 minutes of fabulous that need to be repeated, to bookend this evening’s shelf of music, words and film.


Joy and pleasure are not frivolous – we seek them – they give us hope. To dance is an expression of what we seek. It is the physical embodiment of freedom. Where freedom is an unbinding, an uplifting – a choice to fly.


Music opens the door to memory. The long hallways we sway down. The door saddles we trip over and the rooms into which we fall. Musical notes bypass thought to place us firmly in the moment, in that moment, when in that moment we were.


Dance needs music and music dance. Like grandmothers need daughters and daughters’ mothers. And the bravery to step on a ship sailing from old lands to new. We are a country of immigrants.


In Bronwyn lives these many threads of music, words and memory hallways. She feels them behind her, up close, they know her better than herself, especially through her fingers and toes. A milonga that crept in when she was a child, to emerge as her heart grows huge, not even close to bursting.


When Lily dances she is in flight, her limbs tell tales of journeys from Italy to Spain to Argentina to Alice to here. How they danced, in those days, setting the beat with their feet to the pounding of Ginastera’s piano keys. Those verses travelled around the world to the red centre and down the measures to here. Treasures of note.


It was my joy to be asked to find the story, bring the pieces together, the layers of dancing in flaming colour over black and white, new dancers with old tunes, and a copyright fiasco that claws at the ownership of resulting culture. Ownership is not an old proposition. One Lily Two Lily Three Lily More, held tight by dancers from across international datelines. All to the beat brought beauty of Bronwyn.


Through sleep and shutdowns, openings and iso, yes you cans and no you cants. From online to digital tech to typing texts and turning up, we three gathered and split apart to gather again at times of wondering and workings out. It was a joy predicated by funds from RAV. The support gave time for artists to be in motion, in flight, together, hashing out peaks, beating couchs and missing lipsticks. We three are indeed the lucky ones.


And when we are apart it is art that spreads faster than illness and heals in ways we still do not yet understand, for how could we?


So, here’s to Bronwyn and Lily and capital A art, here’s to me as the putter together of this beautiful marvellous jigsaw that tells so much. We can share our dots, but it is you who connects them.


This is for you, here in the parliament of the people, our milongueras – those who dance as much as possible.


The film is currently on the festival circuit.


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