Tristan Meecham & Aphids  GAME SHOW at the Meat Marketas part of

Festival wrap-up: FOLA

Posted by admin, March 27th, 2014

What is ‘live art’? It’s a contentious term that has been applied to works from a broad swathe of cross art form contemporary practice. So it’s a daunting task to attempt to answer that question, and even more so to curate a Festival of Live Art. Arts House, Theatre Works and Footscray Community Arts Centre took on the challenge, with a massive three-week program from across the world. The question wasn’t answered for us, but we (Thom and Fiona) found it was well worth trying.

We hit FOLA – Melbourne’s inaugural Festival of Live Art – in week two, when it had taken over the whole of Arts House, converting the North Melbourne Town Hall and the nearby Meat Market into a playground of live performance. James Berlyn was suited up and manning Tawdry’s typewriters, ready for the secrets Melbourne had to offer, having already hosted the Silent Drag Booth of Berlyn earlier in the week.fola5

The works we saw:

Sam Halmarack (UK) | Sam Halmarack & The Miserablites

An adorable take on audience participation, ably facilitated by our stranded band frontman and a suitably daggy “instructional” video work. Took the audience on the journey.


Tristan Meecham | Game Show

Putting his life’s possessions on the line for the live “studio audience”, Tristan Meecham as our host led selected contestants through several gruelling challenges to find the ultimate winner. Large scale and ambitious.


triage live art collective & Nicola Gunn | Live Art Escort Service

Fiona procured the assistance of Nicola Gunn to ponder the big artistic question of the festival – What is live art? – while being led outside and down surrounding dark laneways. Peering in on the lives of others through open windows, definitions of live art melted away into shared experience.


Sam Routledge & Martyn Coutts | I Think I Can

This Perth Festival favourite called the North Melbourne Town Hall home for the week, laying down the model railway for locals to bring the miniature world to life. Fiona’s Giant Man arrived in town as a political appointment as Acting Police Inspector, only to spring into action to save a Giant Woman being threatened by a vampire on the hotel roof…


Julie Vulcan | Drift

Entering a contemplative space of twinkling lights and tentative refuge, we were greeted with an inflatable flotilla of “vessels” where you could curl up against the ravages of the outside world. Travellers remained for such a long time we both missed out on the trip.


Malcolm Whittaker | Ignoramus Anonymous

An interactive support group for the ignorant. Is there something you are too ashamed to admit that you don’t know? The sort of thing everyone would scoff at? Ignoramus Anonymous is here to help. Thom’s group were both forthcoming with their knowledge gaps and with their answers, Fiona’s group…not so much.


Paul Gazzola | Gold Coin Series

Three works spread across the Town Hall and Meat Market spaces, Paul Gazzola encouraged us to questions our notions of value, worth, and what you truly think a dollar is worth.


Ranters Theatre | I Know That I Am Not Dead (created by Beth Buchanan)

Fiona was the first audience member to enter Beth’s tent on a first floor balcony at Arts House and spend 20 minutes discussing sleep and not sleeping – one on one. The blankets were cosy, the thermos was full of hot peppermint tea, the conversation convivial.


Emma Beech | Life is Short and Long

A work in development, this facilitated conversation about what we know, how we feel, and how we were affected by the Global Financial Crisis morphed into a conversation about coping with crisis more broadly. Fascinating conversation, and Thom got into the snacks.


Mish Grigor | Man O Man

Part performance, part town hall meeting, post’s Mish Grigor joined forces with a team of local female writers to script letters to be read on the final night of the Patriarchy. On hearing the beautifully and hilariously crafted arguments for and against, participants were invited to vote on whether the male tyranny should prevail. The performance also included lamingtons. Lots of them.


Live Art Dance Party

Curated by Arts House, this was a hit and miss celebration of different works, crossing art forms, boundaries and taste levels. Sisters Grimm and The Town Bikes were highlights.


Sarah Rodigari | A Filibuster of Dreams

While many were sleeping off the effects of a Saturday night, Sarah Rodigari was delivering a mammoth ten hour durational performance reciting well-wishes submitted by audience members to their fellow Melbournites.

photo 2

Amy Spiers & Catherine Ryan | Nothing To See Hear (Dispersal)

Appropriating the techniques of riot squads and police units, patrons were steered away from the “performance space”, breaking and reforming their crowds. Fiona was a peaceful objector, and got covered in ‘Nothing to See Here’ tape for her disobedience. A stand out experience provoking self-reflection and meditation on freedom of choice.


Fragment31 / Leisa Shelton | Mapping

What are the key touch points and experiences you’ve had with live art in Australia? This work seeks to map the collective memory of all participants.  Stage One of a longer project, Leisa reported early results were showing a flurry of Perth-based projects. Stage Two will build an archive and invite us to step back and see what it looks like.



Posted by admin, December 20th, 2013

For the second year running we invited an eclectic cross-section of Perth’s arts community to nominate their top three performance experiences of 2013 and an artist/company to watch in the new year.

Congratulations to all the artists and arts workers involved in presenting such dynamic performances in 2013 and we look forward to more exciting works to come.

Make sure you re-charge your batteries, ready to start 2014 with another Festive Season – the opening of Perth International Arts Festival, FRINGE WORLD and more!

Tell us YOUR top artist/ company to watch in 2014 via our facebook page!

Wishing you all a joyful festive season and creative summer, from all at Performing Lines WA



Will O’Mahony, Alicia Clements, The Skeletal System, Danielle Micich, Humphrey Bower, Ian Sinclair, Rose Riley, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Black Swan State Theatre Company, The Cutting Room Floor, The Last Great Hunt, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, STEPS Youth Dance Company, India Mehta, STRUT Dance, Proximity Festival, Virtual Dust Regional Choreographers Collective, Lucas Jervies, Andre Santos, Kathleen Hoffman.


Winner: Great White The Skeletal System
Equal Second: The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
G Australian Dance Theatre
Equal Third: Bane (1,2 and 3) Joe Bone
Crash Course James Berlyn

Secret River



Henry Boston Executive Director, The Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia
Grazia Toderi PIAF exhibition at John Curtin Gallery. Wondrous collection of light filled and layered images
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company’s great theatre adaptation of the Kate Grenville novel
Standing Bird 2 dance theatre solo with Jacqui Claus. Powerhouse performance which needs to be seen further afield
Who to watch in 2014 The new theatre company on the block The Last Great Hunt


Stephen Bevis Arts Editor, The West Australian
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
Storm Boy Barking Gecko Theatre Company
G Australian Dance Theatre
Who to watch in 2014 New WA theatre company The Last Great Hunt and 2013 WAAPA graduate Rose Riley


Alan Payne Manager, Australian Writers Guild WA
Great White The Skeletal System
Duck, Death And The Tulip Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Shrine Black Swan State Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2014 Will O’Mahony


Kerry O’Sullivan, Executive Director The Blue Room Theatre
Deviator pvi collective
Great WhiteThe Skeletal System
Bane (1,2 and 3) Joe Bone
Who to watch in 2014 The Skeletal System


Alice Lee Holland Artistic Director STEPS Youth Dance Company
Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (An electro pop opera version of War and Peace) Kazino, in NYC
The Threepenny Opera Berliner Ensemble
Dual Stephanie Lake @ Dance Massive
Who to watch in 2014 The Last Great Hunt


Alice Jorgensen Deputy General Manager, State Theatre Centre WA
G Australian Dance Theatre
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
A History of Everything Ontroerend Goed & Sydney Theatre Company
Artist/ company to watch in 2014 Danielle Micich and Humphrey Bower. This partnership has already created some great work and has some ground breaking shows to come. Definitely watch their spaces in 2014 and anything at The Blue Room Theatre, where it all starts….

Guy Boyce
 Director, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
Duck, Death & the Tulip Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Trolleys Buzz Dance and AWESOME Festival
Equal Third: Great White Skeletal System and Wintering Aimee Smith at MPAC
Who to watch in 2014 Will O’Mahony who wrote, directed and acted in Great White and then did a fabulous job of directing Fire with WAYTCO. Company to watch is Spare Parts Puppet Theatre as I did love Tales of Outer SuburbiaSplat and The Deep.

Jamie McGleave
Communications & Development Manager, STRUT dance 
A History of Everything Ontrorend Goed & Sydney Theatre Company Company
Tales from Outer Suburbia Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Trois Generations STRUT Dance & STEPS Youth Dance Company
Who to watch in 2014 The Last Great Hunt - the new collaboration between independent theatre companies The Duckhouse Theatre and Weeping Spoon Productions – will be a most interesting development to chart throughout 2014.

Megan Roberts
 Business Manager, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Tales From Outer Suburbia Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart National Theatre of Scotland
I’m Your Man Roslyn Oades / Belvoir touring through Mobile States
Who to watch in 2014 The Last Great HuntProximity Festival and Ian Sinclair


Anna Kosky  Senior Production Co-ordinator, Perth International Arts Festival 
La Marea, Mariano Pensotti /Perth International Arts Festival
Proximity Festival, James Berlyn/Sarah Rowbottam/Kelli McCluskey/12 Artists 
Storm Boy, Barking Gecko Theatre Company & Sydney Theatre Company 
Who to watch in 2014 Proximity Festival : Those crazy cats at Proximity Festival, James Berlyn, Sarah Rowbottam and Kelli McCluskey are unstoppable.  


Pippa Davis  General Manager, Buzz Dance Theatre
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart National Theatre of Scotland/Perth International Arts Festival
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
Driving Miss Daisy John Frost 
Who to watch in 2014 
The Last Great Hunt and Lucas Jervies


Sarah Vagliviello Operations Officer, Country Arts WA

Goodbye Jamie Boyd Buzz Dance Theatre and Monkey Baa

Great WhiteThe Skeletal System
Crash Course James Berlyn
Who to watch in 2014 The Cutting Room Floor – a new theatre collective, most notable this year for producing Poly which ran at Fringe, and for presenting a series of intimate performances inside people’s homes.

Arielle Gray
 Independent Artist and founding member of  The Last Great Hunt
Great White The Skeletal System
Bane (1,2 and 3) Joe Bone
The Boat Goes Over the Mountain Happy Dagger Theatre
Who to watch in 2014 The Skeletal System – I think Will O’Mahony and Alicia Clements have a huge amount of talent

Joe Lui
Director, Renegade Productions
Great White The Skeletal System
Dreamtide Ochre Dance
I’m Your Man Roslyn Oades/Belvoir
Who to watch in 2014 Danielle Micich’s new production Overexposed looks awesome.

Annette Carmichael
Regional Contemporary Dance Faciliator,  Ausdance WA
Gudirr Gudirr Marrugeku @ Dance Massive
Reflect Sue Peacock
Because of You…. Sandi Woo (Broome)
Who to watch in 2014 Virtual Dust – Regional Choreographers Collective

Humphrey Bower
 Night Train Productions
The Tribe Renegade Productions
Crash Course James Berlyn
SDS1 Ahilan Ratnamohan
Who to watch in 2014 Will O’Mahoney/ The Skeletal System

Margrete Chaney
 Artist & Patron of Buzz Dance Theatre
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
Onegin The West Australian Ballet
Crash Course James Berlyn
Who to watch in 2014 Danielle Micich with her new work premiering  at the State Theatre Centre of WA  23 Oct – 1 Nov 2014

Shane Colquhoun
General Manager, Black Swan State Theatre Company
The Secret River Sydney Theatre Company
G Australian Dance Theatre
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
Who to watch in 2014 That’s a hard one! I would give it jointly to STRUT and The Last Great Hunt


Genvieve Jones Production Manager, Barking Gecko Theatre Company  
A History of Everything Ontrorend Goed & Sydney Theatre Company Company
Duck, Death & the Tulip Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Great White The Skeletal System
Who to watch in 2014 India Mehta, up and coming production designer. Seen recently at The Blue Room Theatre with her design for Joe Lui’s The Tribe


Robyn Smith  Ausdance WA
Trois Generations STRUT Dance & STEPS Youth Dance Company
CATS ICW Performing Arts Association
Jersey Boys Rodney Rigby
Who to watch in 2014 Andre Santos at the West Australian Ballet. Kathleen Hoffman, independent dancer and STEPS Youth Dance Company in their Birthday year!


Irene Jarzabek Freelance Publicist
G Australian Dance Theatre
A Clockwork Orange Les Currie & Glynis Henderson Productions with Action To The Word
Other Desert Cities Black Swan State Theatre Company
With a special mention to seeing theatre legends Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy.
Who to watch in 2014 Black Swan State Theatre Company 2014 program with combination of classics from Chekhov, Shakespeare & Tennessee Williams, two comedies by Ben Elton & Neil Simon with the world premiere of Dust by Australian writer Suzie Miller and two show in the Studio Underground, there really is something for everyone. Also looking forward to Bangarra Dance Theatre’s tour of their new work Patyegarang.

G Australian Dance Theatre














Summer time Oddysea

Posted by admin, November 27th, 2013

Sensorium Theatre’s co-artistic director, Francis Italiano, takes us through the background behind their new interactive performance for children with special needs – Oddysea.

Words: Francis Italiano Photo: Ashley de Prazer

In our previous show, The Jub Jub Tree, young audiences with special needs relished feeling grass and dirt underfoot in our luscious multi-sensory forest, and delighted in joining the animals they met who lived there. Encouraging them to be active participants in, rather than passive recipients of, the story became for us the cornerstone of Sensorium Theatre’s approach to “immersive” performance. In creating our new show ‘Oddysea’, the company was keen to explore this idea further and make the audience’s interactive experience even more dynamic and kinetic – not only taking them on a narrative journey, but seeing how we could enable them to undertake a physical journey of their own.

An odyssey is a journey or quest – traditionally heroic by nature – with one or more main characters reaching a goal after overcoming trials along the way…




For many of our audience, some of whom have little or no movement and are unable to speak, just getting through a single day can require heroic efforts. How then, to convey a sense of fun and adventure in a journey that they could be part of? Given Sensorium’s method of using sensory stimuli to create cognitive “ins” to a story for our audience within an immersive setting, we began to think about where we’d like that journey to take them, and what kind of sensory delights we might like to offer them along the way? Being a Fremantle-based company, we ended up at The Sea…

So, in Oddysea, we’ve invited children with special needs to come on a journey to explore the sights, sounds, textures, smells and tastes of the oceanic world, and revel in the sensuous joy of sun, sand and sea while encountering some of the beautiful, extraordinary and truly odd characters and creatures who call the sea home.

For the Creative Development of this new show, the company undertook what we now plan to be a template for making our future new works; that is, after an initial brainstorming period for the creative team to establish our framework and objectives, we went on to directly collaborate with a representative spectrum of our intended audiences for the rest of the devising and creation period. Basing ourselves at Kenwick School for the duration of the development over a whole term, we alternated artists’ collaborative devising days with hands-on workshop-style days with the kids and staff in a kind of experiential dramaturgy -where we trialed different story ideas, variations of the live original music and instrumentation, and prototypes of interactive props, puppets and settings with them – adjusting, tweaking, jettison-ing and re-inventing based on their responses and direct feedback. The usually exciting collaborative experience of a creative development was amplified incredibly by having the kids in on the process – if an idea was a dud, then the audible “thud” when it crashed was totally palpable from our harshest critics, but if an idea had wings, then watching it soar, propelled by their enthusiasm, was beyond beautiful. Several of the songs from the score were inspired by the kids and the ending was directly influenced by one class in particular. It seems so obvious in retrospect, but what better way to fashion immersive worlds than to interact directly with the audience you want to invite into them as you are creating them?



Working with the kids in a mock-up of our proposed set, using approximations of the final puppets and props, also allowed us to tackle the practical question of how best to physically convey a journey. Since many of our audience have limited physical mobility, in “Oddysea” we’ve explored “bringing” the journey to them, at times using happily old-school theatre  techniques such as “travelling” set-pieces and puppets/performers past them, and at others taking them on mini-promenades – literally propelling them along the slippery gold-satin “sand” if necessary. Wherever possible, children are taken out of their wheelchairs. In the finished version of the show, as we set off from the beach and the kelp-lined rock pools of the shoreline recede, accompanied by sea-shell rattles and steel-drum conch-shells, our principal characters, Crab & Turtle, encourage the audience to go ever further on their Oddysea. Having taken us up on our offer, the kids are treated to multiple transformations of the space before the tactile extravaganza of a crocheted coral reef unfurls before them and they arrive at their destination.

The journey the audience and artists take together is truly an odyssey. After such a rich development, enthusiastic test audiences and a promising start to our pilot tour, we decided our preferred mode of transportation – sensory stimuli, imaginary play, and intimate immersive interaction – is the only way to travel!

The Sensorium Theatre artists are highly skilled in working with children with special needs. Audience size is limited to 12 so that individual learning abilities can be catered for and experiences can be maximised. Performing Lines WA can create a performance package tailored to your needs, from the full 7-day residency to a one-off performance.

2013 School Tour: Kalamunda ESC and Sir David Brand School
2014 School Tour: Malibu School, Gladys Newton School, Carson Street School, Durham Road School, Creaney ESC, Beldon ESC, Merriwa ESC, Gwynne Park ESC

Please note there are no public performances of Oddysea. If you would like Sensorium Theatre to visit your school, please contact to discuss the range of residency and performance packages.



INTERVIEW: Sally Richardson Standing Bird 2

Posted by admin, November 6th, 2013

We have a soft spot for the team behind Standing Bird 2. Not only have we had the pleasure of working with the entire creative team individually on other projects – we worked alongside Sally, Danielle and Jacqui on the first iteration of Standing Bird for their premiere season in 2012 during Summer Nights and Fringe World. Billed as a bravura solo performance by Jacqui Claus (2012 Dance Australia Critics Choice – Most Outstanding Female Dancer), Standing Bird 2 has been re-structured, re-visioned and refined for Season Two at The Blue Room Theatre. We talk to Director and Performing Lines WA core artist Sally Richardson about what to expect.

Words: Sarah Rowbottam (SR) and Sally Richardson (SallyR)
Photos: Ashley de Prazer


SR. You did it once, why do it again?
SallyR. You return to a work determined to make it better, and to resolve and refine your concept and your ideas. The initial devising space is such a different experience, with a high degree of uncertainty and is always limited by the time and resources available to you. Fringeworld was a perfect environment to show the work at an early stage, in a performance framework that is about experimentation, exploration, and testing your ideas for the first time with an audience who is also excited by the rawness and freshness of the work. The original presentation also incorporated a number of ideas, and story lines I had been working with on and off over a few years. Standing Bird 2 is a synergy and synthesis of those ideas into a single narrative and ‘voice’, co-created and performed by and for dancer Jacqui Claus.

SR. What have been some exciting developments with the next iteration of the work?
SallyR. The work has been re-structured, re-visioned and refined, with some additional new material developed and scored. The new design created by Fiona Bruce and Lauren Ross is bold and contemporary and locates the work in a different context and audience configuration. We also re-shot all the film sections exclusively with Jacqui, and these appear on a range of screens in and around The Blue Room (check out the Cultural centre screen as you make your way to the Theatre). We have also incorporated The Blue Room bar as a performance space, so yes on many levels if feels like a ‘new’ work. (My previous role as a somewhat shadowy presence in the work has also been erased – thankfully)!


SR. What is personal about the story?
SallyR. For me all creative work is personal to a degree…This work is also inspired by many things, including what is a solo? What is a self-portrait? What is particular to this form, and this solo journey that we all experience…Reflection and  self-reflection are key concepts, as are both physical and psychological notions of re-framing, reviewing, re-membering, and re-visioning..How we move through time and space, both physically and mentally, backwards and forwards (as does the reflective gaze) …It is interesting in the process of re-visiting this work, the theme of re-construction, re-collection, re-covery and review is central. What is retained, what is rejected, what is re-formed…through the journey of performance making, as in life ,there is a constant editing, of the story.  In SB2 as this lone woman moves through landscapes (emotional territories) she recognises herself while also rejecting parts of herself, shedding skins and layers.  The idea of metamorphosis and transformation are central. In this version there is always choice (made by her-self)…and ultimately one arrives at a space where there is release and revelation. It is about the pursuit of self awareness, from an initial self consciousness…a process of moving from who am I? to a claimed space of I am…here present and before you in the immediate now..The interior is made exterior and vise versa through fragmentation, re-fraction, and re-formation..The keynote is the gestural, as motifs recur and return moving from the minutae through to the epic..a moment amplifies and echoes, is refracted and re-framed by repetition. …A solo is always about the performer, and as the dancer’s body is ultimately their own unique voice, Standing Bird 2 is also Jacqui’s. It has been created and framed by her own physicality and dance vocabulary, and so it uniquely hers, and hers alone.

SR. As a movement based performance, how have you (as the Director) worked alongside and in collaboration with Choreographer Danielle Micich?
SallyR. Danielle, Jacqui and I collaborate as a team. We each bring a different element to this creative dialogue, and there is a trust and mutual understanding that comes from having worked with each other over many years. Danielle defines herself as a movement director, and her and Jacqui have now collaborated on a range of projects, so there is an efficiency and clarity to their communication. I am there driving the sense of overarching narrative, intention and through line, and commenting, questioning and adjusting what is generated.  We all know what we want to create, and the outcome we want to achieve, and it has felt very simpatico in this process. It is exciting to be working together with Dank and Jacqui right now, as both in their own way are professionally at the top of their game, and with that there is a confidence and ease, and sense of play in the creative space that is delicious.

SR. What’s great about presenting Standing Bird 2 in The Blue Room Theatre’s season two?
SallyR. The Blue Room Theatre is a fantastic venue and hub for original new work, and it has a strong audience base and great team that support this focus. To be able to present two new dance works (SB2 + Verge) in such an intimate venue is exciting, as we believe this will give the audience a dynamic performance experience, as it is a rare opportunity to view dance in such close proximity.  To also have an almost 3 week season for 2 new contemporary dance works is almost unheard of in Perth, due to high cost of suitable venues. We believe this gives us an opportunity to develop new audiences, and the season duration gives a chance for word of mouth to build, and hopefully we can sell out!!

SR. How did you become a Director?
SallyR.  I wanted to. Practice makes perfect. I am still practicing.

SR. Why do you make work in Perth?
SallyR.  I make work in Perth as it is my home, and the home of my children. I also have some strong ongoing creative relationships here with other artists and collaborators that have developed and grown over many years. We are a dynamic and diverse creative community  and I think we are good at making our own opportunities to showcase our ideas and work. I do enjoy also working in other cities/places, and enjoy the dialogue with other artists from around the country. Living and working in such a remote city as Perth it is essential to travel and see and make work in other environments.

SR.Who do you dream of working with one day?
SallyR. That list is long.

Standing Bird 2 Showing at The Blue Room Theatre
12 – 29 November 2013
The Blue Room Theatre
53 James Street
Perth Cultural Centre
Northbridge WA 6003

Featuring: Jacqui Claus // Director + Concept: Sally Richardson // Movement Director: Danielle Micich // Assistant Director: Katya Shevtsov // Vision Design + Film Production + Editor: Ashley de Prazer // Set + Costume Design: Fiona Bruce // Sound design + Production: Joe Lui + Kingsley Reeve // Lighting Design: Joe Lui // Dramaturg: Humphrey Bower + Sally Richardson

IMG_2880 copy 2 (1)LR2


Posted by admin, September 16th, 2013

This week NSW artist Sue Healey will start a two week residency at Chrissie Parrott Arts Space in Maylands. Her primary focus will be to launch the first part of her dance/film installation, ‘On View’, a newly developed portrait of Perth based dancer and  long-time collaborator Shona Erskine. 

Interview: Rebecca Baumann (RB) and Sue Healey (SH)

RB. From choreographing dance to making feature length documentaries – you’ve had quite an eclectic history as an artist. What are your current projects about? 
SH. Ecelectic yes, but all my projects are about movement – the moving body, the moving image – I am interested in what moves us as performers and what moves an audience.  It’s an endlessly fascinating subject!  Finding the form to best reveal the idea is part of the game – I love to make films, allow them to morph into installations, and to challenge the moving body to inhabit these various spaces.

RB.Can you share some insight behind On View?
SH. I recently completed a feature documentary Virtuosi.  This film is essentially cine-portraits of dance artists working in diverse places such as New York, Berlin, Brussels, London and Australia – from this experience I was hooked on the idea of portraiture…why do we make them? What information is necessary to reveal the identity of a subject? I’m fascinated by the history of portraiture and the ways in which a camera can capture and reveal an identity.  So, On View comes from these questions – I focus on five Australian dance artists who are contrasting in their practice, ethnicity and age.  I am always intrigued by the power of the performing artist – their ability to transform and shift between imaginative worlds.

On a simple level this work is about the act of seeing and being seen.
How do we look at a piece of art? At performance? What is the etiquette in today’s world, of actually seeing? I want to make a work that heightens this intimate and dynamic agency between subject and viewer.

RB. On View features Perth based dancer Shona Erskine, who is a long-time collaborator of yours. How does your working relationship with a collaborator develop and grow over time?
SH. This is one of the special things about working in dance…it is by its very nature, a truly collaborative form – we need each other to create the magic! Information is passed on through the body and it takes many years to achieve deep understanding of a movement language.  My relationship with Shona has been an extraordinary one – and importantly, it is time that allows an evolution to occur.  We have been working together since 2000 and share many ideas, extraordinary artistic experiences, and a plethora of works.  Shona is one of the most imaginative artists I’ve ever met – I love her ability to completely embody a psychological state  – it is a choreographer’s dream!

RB. Who are your main influences at the moment?
SH. I am loving studying the classic films of Tarkovsky – the perfect antidote to the mass hysteria of the dreadful Hollywood blockbuster.

RB.  Your work intersects dance, film and visual art – when did you first become interested in working in this interdisciplinary manner?
SH. I became interested in making films of dance early in my career – actually out of frustration at the impermanence of the dance form and the lack of good documentation.  I wanted to make films as a way to hold the dance and make the intangible slightly more tangible.  As soon as I understood the editing craft I was hooked.  I see the edit as truly choreographic part of the game. And then of course I love the challenges of an installation context – the play with space, film and the moving body is totally captivating, even more than a proscenium stage or traditional performance space.

RB. The Dancing for the Camera Workshop focuses on “a duet for camera and body”. What are the main differences between choreographing for film and live dance performance?
SH. Come along and find out!  Not enough space to describe it!

RB. What is life like as an independent artist in 2013? What are some of the challenges you face?
SH. Life as an independent artist in 2013 is difficult.  There is no doubt about that.  But rewarding because you are independent – free from the strictures of a board or a company structure…you are your own boss, it means you can be truly honest about your artistic intentions, and take imaginative leaps that perhaps are impossible under formal company situations – but of course there is the flip slide of doing it alone…the lack of profile, support, no stable income, life is precarious at the best of times….
Receiving a Creative Fellowship this year has changed my life!  I am indebted to the Australian Council for this incredible privilege – in fact it celebrates the independent status and makes the wildest things possible.

RB. Do you have any tips for WA based independents wanting a career in the performing arts?
SH. Work hard, then work harder.

RB. What is the most interesting project you have worked on in your career?
SH. Difficult to single one out because every project has been special – producing, making, editing and distributing the feature film was certainly an interesting one…challenging on every level. I even had to transcribe the entire film (just the other day) so it can be sub-titled in other languages.

RB. What have you got coming up in 2014? Can Perth audiences expect to see you again soon?
SH. I am collaborating with NZ singer Tim Finn on the visuals/film for his show White Cloud which will premiere in NZ and then tour.
I continue making my large scale project for my Fellowship which will culminate in a season at the Carriageworks at end of 2014.  This includes travel to Berlin and the USA and making films and live performance – so I will be busy! My feature film Virtuosi will be screening in November 9 at Eyes Wide Festival, so Perth audiences can see it then!


ON VIEW Performance & Film Screening
7.30pm Fri & Sat 27-28 September 2013 $35-$25 online bookings ($38/$28 doorsales)
Tel 61439926 or online Here

For workshops and professional class bookings with Sue Healey visit CPA website.

Sue Healey is a choreographer, educator, installation artist and dance-film maker based in Sydney. Originally from New Zealand, Sue graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne with a BA (Dance Performance, 1984). She later gained a Masters Degree in Choreography (2000) with First Class Honours, Melbourne University. She was a founding member of Danceworks with Artistic Director Nanette Hassall performing and choreographing, nationally and internationally from 1983-1988. From 1989-91 Sue worked in New York with Zvi Gottheiner Company and studied with many seminal artists including Trisha Brown, Dana Reitz, Irene Hultman and Merce Cunningham. She was Artistic Director of Vis-à-Vis Dance Canberra (1993-95) and the Sue Healey Company from 2002. She has received multiple commissions from companies including The One Extra Co., Dance North, Tasdance, Danceworks, Limbs Dance Co. (NZ), Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and The Aichi Arts Centre, Nagoya Japan. Her worked has toured to the United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan and New Zealand. She was awarded the prestigious Choreographic Fellowship from the Australia Council (1999/2000), the Robert Helpmann Scholarship,  Arts NSW (2009/10) and the Creative Australia Fellowship, Australia Council (2013). Her feature film Virtuosi continues its international screening success in Montreal, New York, New Zealand and beyond, into 2013. Sue occupies a unique position within the Australia dance sector, and was recently awarded a Creative Australia Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding contribution.  Sue is one of five NSW artists supported by the Managing and Producing Services (MAPS) NSW initiative, supported by Performing Lines, the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts NSW. MAPS provides artists and collectives with managerial and producing support, enabling them to create, present and tour their work.