a dance music performance
co-devised by
Jane McKernan & Gail Priest
with Brian Fuata & Lizzie Thomson

“Music / for the dance / to go with it
…living in the same town
finding life by not
living the same way”                       
(John Cage, Composition in Retrospect, 1993)

One thing follows another… is a performative negotiation between the artforms of dance and music, where neither dominates nor is in the service of the other. This balancing act of independence and collaboration is played out with reference to the 1960s avant-garde artists such as Yvonne Rainer and John Cage however these ideas are re-embodied and re-interpreted through our contemporary modes of performance.

The shared element of dance and music is time and this forms the conceptual core of the work. There is a time-based score and each segment explores different compositional strategies for music and dance, with the overall intention to enhance the audience’s experience of time passing. Over 55 minutes dances are found, music takes form, water is poured, fruit is eaten, the floor is swept, poems are written, snap is played and a cake is cooked. One thing literally follows another, the tasks and dances falling in and out of one another.

Due to its task-like nature One thing follows another… is a playful work—a kind of game. Theatrical artifice is stripped away to show the audience both an entertaining performance and the processes of its making. It can be seen perhaps as a gathering of people who share 55 minutes of their lives together—the actions of dance, music and task serving to fill time and empty it in order to feel its passing.

One thing follows another… is scheduled for final production August 2014.

Creative Development 2012
One thing follows another was a 6-week creative development, funded by the Australia Council’s Dance-Music Initiative, investigating the compositional methodologies of dance and music, looking at ways in which they can work both together and independently.

Using research into avant-garde performance practices from the 1960s as a starting point, in particular those of Yvonne Rainer (dance) & John Cage (music), we explored compositional structures that challenge ideas of accompaniment, cause and effect, intentionality and narrative expressionism. Along the way we investigated our relationship with time: how we can manipulate it, and how it manipulates us.

The showing took place on December 7, 2012 at the Balmain Town Hall

One thing follows another (6 minute edit)


One thing follows another (full show)



All photos Heidrun Löhr

Intro, Gail Priest, Jane McKernan, Brian Fuata

Chance Dance
Chance Dance, Lizze Thomson, Brian Fuata, Gail Priest

Forwards Backwards
Forwards Backwards, Jane McKernan, Lizzie Thomson

Snap, Brian Fuata, Jane McKernan, Lizzie Thomson, Gail Priest

Make a Cake
Make a Cake, Jane McKernan

Make a Cake, Lizze Thomson, Gail Priest, Brian Fuata

Scolling Score
Scrolling Score, Gail Priest, Jane McKernan, Lizzie Thomson

Forwards Backwards
Forwards Backwards, Jane McKernan, Lizzie Thomson

Forwards Bakcwards
Forwards Backwards, Jane McKernan


This project has been assisted by the Australia Council through it's Music/Dance initiative
and by Performance Studies, The University of Sydney.

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