Recognised nationally, Dance.Focus is a dance film initiative by Dance Hub SA in partnership with Ausdance ACT and proudly supported by Ausdance SA, Alchemy Dance Collective & Torbreck Vintners. The commission is designed to challenge, resonate and engage with screen dance.
In 2023 we commissioned three artists to create new dance films, two from South Australia and one from the ACT.
Dragonfly by Gabriel Sinclair (ACT)
Why should you live in the present? 'Dragonfly' is a questioning of determinism and transcendence, explored in an urban space by one dancer alone but for the past and future projections of themself. This solo piece evolves into duets, trios, and ensemble choreography across time and space. Every self is their own present self, though they may seem a memory or an imagination. They cross our paths fleetingly, perhaps showing us forgotten hope, pain, or joy. Away they buzz again.
This film was created on Ngunnawal country, and the team behind Dragonfly pays respect to the land and Elders past, present, and emerging.
DON'T DO IT: do it by Kate Burgess (SA)
'DON’T DO IT: do it' is a black and white screen-dance film, based upon the universal experiences of intrusive thoughts. We all have these moments come to us, they can sometimes be incredibly funny or downright dangerous. Are these thoughts a reflection of our true character, or just random urges that we would never act upon in our lives. This film explores these ideas, through a combination of a play with balloons and entangled string, accompanied by six creatures, and an original sound score. The movement is contrasted by these themes, representing that often what you say out loud is extremely different to what is happening within your thoughts; and the endless spiral that can draw from here within the mind.
Kate Burgess would like to acknowledge that this film was created on the traditional land of the Kaurna people and pay her respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.
Change Around Time by Sue Hawksley & Cynthia Schwertsik (SA)
'Change Around Time' is a sensitive yet playful response to the transformative role of bushfire and its confronting capacity for destruction and regeneration. Incongruously situated in a fire-scarred natural environment, two heavily dressed performers divest themselves of layer upon layer of clothes; they then redress. Their movements are shaped by their activity as they remove and scatter, retrieve, reverse and replace articles of clothing. Sue Hawksley and Cynthia Schwertsik are interested in the use of the everyday and the absurd as tools for building awareness of the eco-socio-cultural impact of human and environmental activity and events.
This work was created on the traditional lands of the Kaurna and Peramangk peoples. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.
Dance.Focus is a dance film initiative by Dance Hub SA in partnership with Ausdance ACT and supported by Ausdance SA.
The commission is for creators with a track record in dance filmmaking and is designed to challenge, resonate and engage with screen dance.
Our 2022 Dance.Focus Program also recieved a Canberra Critics Circle Award, presented by Elizabeth Cameron Dalman for our initiative in bringing together dance filmmakers from the ACT and South Australia in October 2021 and September 2022 in Dance.Focus. Where nine short films were commissioned and shown, thus widening knowledge and understanding of Canberra’s dance culture beyond the ACT.’
All 2022 Dance.Focus films are now available to watch on demand below or on our YouTube Channel
Depart 222 by Axis (Jess Minas & Gem Ivens) (SA)
‘Depart 222’ advocates for equality and diversity amongst individuals and the way they think, act and exist. The work responds to ‘12 Rules for Life’ by Canadian philosopher and clinical psychologist, Jordan B.Peterson, and questions, repels and reacts to these teachings and rules.
Perspective by Wendy Nguyen (ACT)
The film perspective explores the multiverse theory through street dance movement, sound, and visual stimuli. More specifically, exploring the possibility of encountering another version of oneself and understanding what could have been, what might become, and what is.
Yield by Dianne Reid (SA)
‘Yield’ surveys dance and ageing for positive social impact. The concept of the project honours the legacy of the Eastwood group (at one time known as the Dancers Cooperative), a community of up to 18 mature dancers who have been sharing a weekly dance practice for about 30 years (mostly aged between 50–70).
Never Wear Yellow by Caroline De Wan (SA/ACT)
'Never Wear Yellow' is the story of a rodeo clown. Rodeo clowns, also known as bull fighters, exist in a world of laughter and danger. They have their own superstitions. The title comes from the superstition that bull riders and fighters should never wear yellow, put their hats on their beds or eat chicken on the days they ride, as it can bring bad luck.
'Son; Like Mother; Like Son' by Petra Szabo Heath (SA)
The study explores the connection and bond between mother and son as they learn from each other.
Graphic: Felicity Arts Digital Still ‘Fleeting’ (2017). Performer Gala Moody
Dance.Focus is a dance film commission by Dance Hub SA in partnership with Ausdance ACT and supported by Ausdance SA and Torbrek Vinters. The commission is designed to challenge, resonate and engage with screen dance.
The commission is for four artists, two from South Australia and two from the ACT.
Dance.Focus 2021 SA produced films, 'Whispers Down the Lane' by Chloe Moir and '(T)HERE' by Cinzia Schincariol have now premiered and are available for viewing.
The Dance.Focus 2021 ACT produced film 'Streetlight' Directed & Created by Robert Aspinall has now premiered and is available for viewing. Rose Tinted Lens by Nathan Rutups was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and did not premiere.
“Dance film is a distinct visual art form that expands what dance and choreography can be – beyond the limitations of the physical body in space and indeed, with or without, the virtual human body in motion”.
Amanda Phillips – Artistic Director, Dance Hub SA
Streetlight by Rob Aspinall
Whilst travelling along a rain covered sidewalk, streetlights and music transport a dancer to a dreamlike world of sophisticated funk.
‘This project is a fusion of funk dance styles and choreography which attempts to bring more validity to street dance as an art form.’
- Rob Aspinall
(T)HERE by Cinzia Schincariol
'It is a new dance on screen work about ecological grief as a way to address the desire to be in different places at the same time. Ultimately there is a deep yearning of belonging to a place, to a moment: whilst such a place reminds me of another place, I know I could be somewhere else. (T)HERE comes from my experience of being a migrant - a wanderer attached to nature - and a sudden impossibility to travel to places I call home'.
- Cinzia Schincariol
Whispers Down the Lane by Chloe Moir
‘At some point in our life, we have probably all played the game ‘Whisper Down The Lane’ in a group: One by one each person repeats a message to the next person and so on down a chain. The goal is to get to the secret message (intact) to the last person in the chain. I want to transform this concept into dance and see the results.’
- Chloe Moir