Over the years I have been involved in divising, performing and choreographing a wide range of dance and physical theatre performances including work for the Melbourne International Arts Festival, The Next Wave Festival and the opening of the Queensland Poetry Festival. I have a Graduate diploma in Visual and Performing Arts (Dance Therapy) a Graduate Certificate in Art and Community Enagement and took a number of years to develop my practice and thinking within the structure of a PhD in Performance Studies.
These performative and institutional educations are part of a wandering and wundrous path that has led me to many inspiring teachers and influential communities of practice. I’ll mention some of my key inspirations.
First up are the vibrant Melbourne improvisation, dance and butoh communities that I have been part of for many years. Particularly the sensitive and intelligent dancing of Alice Cummins, the wonderfully open work of Al Wunder – the grandaddy of Melbourne improv – and butoh dance artists Tony Yap and Yumi Umiumare. As well as friendships and many hours of inspiring dancing, these communities have shaped an enduring passion for dance and the arts, and their vital connection to our individual and collective well-being.
Being part of the Quiddity Ensemble – a company of five dance and theatre artists researching group improvisation strategies under the direction of John Britton – has grounded my passion for improvisation and the creative and unfolding relationship between the individual and the group.
Bodyweather and the work of dance artists Min Tanaka, Tess De Quincey, Hisako Horikawa and Frank Van De Van inspires the deep enagagement with ‘place’ at the heart of my dancing. Bodyweather is an investigative physical training developed by Min Tanaka and a company of international dancers on an operational farm near Tokyo. It is concerned with the relationship between our internal and external ‘landscape’ or ‘weather’.
The central thread of my work is the ongoing exploration of the relationship between my dancing experience, my everyday living – with all its moods, conflicts, challenges and joys – and my deep care for this beautiful and troubled world. What difference does my dancing make? I approach ‘inner’ experiences as part of a much bigger ecology and understand that awareness can be an agent of creativity and change. My training in and experience of Process Work (Process Oriented Psychology), as an awareness practice, therapeutic modality and as an approach to facilitating groups and conflicts, supports this exploration.