Duelling taps (2013)

The potential for both success and failure are palpable at amateur dance competitions. Duelling taps records the determined performances of two competing tap dancers at a local suburban dance competition: moving in and out of view, tension is heightened by the split screen that pits them side-by-side then crashing into each other, only for one or the other to dance away and out of sight. The sound tracks, too, compete for attention – the overlaid music tracks and rapid-fire rapping-tapping add to the frenetic pace – laying bare the tense competitiveness being played out for the judge’s approval. But who won? To draw upon Roland Barthes: ‘What is sport? Sport answers this question by another question: who is best?’

Duelling taps was a new work commissioned for Ramp Gallery, curated by Kim Paton and exhibited as part of Lucky seat prize, from 13 August to 11 September 2013.