METASYSTEMS is a 5 part series of live performance works by James Batchelor and collaborators that combine movement and sculpture. Documenting and translating the processes taking place at the construction site, METAYSTEMS deals with the tension between conceptual and physical realisation. It is a study of the body in the urban landscape and an analysis of how we create sense and order to navigate the unknown.

“METASYSTEMS is an extraordinarily interesting and ultimately beautiful work which will reward further viewing. It is notable for its originality and complexity, and as an exciting demonstration of the maturation of Batchelor’s ability to present complex ideas in accessible dance form”Bill Stephens, City News

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Made in 2014, a commissioned piece for the Keir Choreographic Award in Melbourne. It features 3 performers and 64 concrete masonry blocks, which are assembled to form a rhythmic and continuously evolving space. The choreography is inspired by construction processes in Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid.

Productions Created for the Keir Choreographic Award, produced by Dancehouse and Carriageworks

Escape to the Infinite at Festival Operaestate, Bassano del Grappa, Italy, outdoor, click here.

PART 2: DUPLICATION (30 minutes)

Made in 2015, premiered at the Canberra Theatre Centre with support from Arts ACT. Featuring 4 performers, 256 concrete masonry blocks, DUPLICATION experiments with scale and an increased intimacy between body and concrete. The choreographic focus is building maintenance and navigation including window washing, painting, cleaning and metal scaffolding construction.

DUPLICATION can be paired with other METASYSTEMS works to form a full-length program. In previous presentations it has been billed with ESCAPE TO THE INFINITE and ASSEMBLAGE.

Supported by the ACT government through Arts ACT, Canberra Theatre Centre and City of Melbourne.


Made in 2015 as part of James Batchelor’s Australia Thailand Institute Residency supported by the Australian Government. MULTIPLICATION features 8 performers, 576 concrete bricks. It is the largest and most complex system in the series. The choreographic study is of bamboo scaffolding construction and the navigation of vertical structures.

Supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Creative Industries.

PART 4: ASSEMBLAGE (40 minutes)

Made in 2015 and premiered in Melbourne at fortyfivedownstairs with support from City of Melbourne. A collaboration with XYZ Workshop, this work features 2 performers and 128 unique 3D printed blocks. It deals with ways that systems are created and refined as the performers assemble a 128 piece puzzle.

Supported by the City of Melbourne.

PART 5: VIOLENCE (40 minutes)

The work VIOLENCE responds to the physical process of demolition and a repurposing of clay bricks into simultaneously beautiful and violent relationships with the body. As the body fails, the bricks fall and crumble. The performers continue in their task to find comfort in the positioning of the body against these heavy and dusty objects.

Supported by 501 Art Space

« Metasystems is captivating to watch. The action is all at once a constantly evolving installation with a percussion instrument that underscores the piece. » – Amitha Amranand Bangkok Post 

« That Batchelor can surprise like this is what makes his work so worth following. » – Michelle Potter