For the first instalment in our ELEVATE series we're asking our ISS2018 faculty how they see creativity emerging through dance?



Before we begin, our discussion may benefit from an understanding that dance is something that we share together through cultural domains. Whether we're going to the watch a live performance at a theatre or simply bopping away at a friend's birthday party, dance is something that we share socially in our lives.

At it's most basic function - we have the ability to cultivate dance with our own moving bodies but also have the ability to appreciate and interpret the danced expressions of others. Nowadays, the majority of dance is shared recreationally, but in Australia, dance has a long history of being an integral to the survival of our indigenous peoples.

Long before the printing press was invented or YouTube shared our videos, indigenous cultures utilised dance as way of passing sacred knowledge into the future. Until today, indigenous rituals and dances are preserved by the elders of their respective communities and are introduced to younger generations at milestone stages in their lives.

We asked our ISS2018 faculty how they see creativity being present in the art of dance:

NINA BOTKAY: Creativity is present in every aspect in the art of dance. From the dancers' input in exchange with the choreographer to all other arts involved in the build up of a piece (costume, lighting, music -if its a composition, production, set designers...).

DANIKA MARTIN: The art of dance allows for the use of the body as a form of expression. Through the manipulation of the elements of dance (space, time, dynamics and relationships) choreographer's have the ability to develop movement that says something to an audience in the same way an artist can depict a message on canvas. The uniqueness of dance however, is that a dancer can bring themselves to the artwork, their background, experience, influences and passion. It allows for a collaborative creativity and expression.

CHARLIE ANDERSEN: Creativity is the centre of what makes dance an art form and not a sport. Thousands of dancers do the same steps all over the world yet each dancer has the opportunity to present those steps in their own unique way. I like to think of dancers as colours. I am a “Blue dancer” some directors really love “red dancers” I can add lots of red to my dancing but because I am Blue I will never be pure red but instead I can adapt to new colours as requested by directors or choreographers. This creativity and ability to adapt is what gives us new and exciting colours all the time in Ballet.

LAURA GRAHAM: Gosh, creativity is (hopefully) flowing in every aspect of our lives. How we make our tea in the morning can be creative. For dance, I guess I would say having curiosity to learn a new way, to see things with slightly different eyes. It’s how we approach our dance… For each of us as dancers—and choreographers, or stagers and teachers. It’s never stopping questioning the possibilities. It can be huge, and can be quiet and subtle.

In our next edition of our ELEVATE series we will be asking our ISS2018 faculty - what is choreography?