Tucked away in a dark cavernous room of the National Gallery of Victoria hang 39 giant bronze bells in perfect rows, suspended mid-air like sentinels. A woman walks calmly through the silent grid, arriving at the only illuminated dome on the outer perimeter. She pulls it towards her, pauses, then carefully swings it into motion, the warm glow of its light circling through the darkness. Six more dancers enter and follow suit, plunging us into a gentle hypnosis.

Pendulum
Pendulum. Photos © Gregory Lorenzutti

This is Pendulum– a movement and sound installation from choreographer Lucy Guerin and percussive artist Matthias Schack-Arnott, premiering at Melbourne’s new festival Rising. Sitting somewhere between a dance piece and an electronic sound composition, the work offers a methodical dissection of the installation’s potential.

Of course, the bells are the centrepiece here. High-tech and synchronised, the domes double as speakers for the live-cued score and conduits for Bosco Shaw’s clever lighting design. Triggered by the manual manipulations of the dancers, the bells flicker and whir, pulsate and hum, spilling their light and sound along precisely aimed...