Experimental Choreographic Residency

Experimental Choreographic Residency with Ivey Wawn, 2018. Photograph by Heidrun Löhr.
Adult Art Balance 983817
Experimental Choreographic Residency with Ivey Wawn, 2018. Photograph by Heidrun Löhr.


Performance Space's Experimental Choreographic Residency supports the development of innovative, bold and experimental approaches to choreography. Established in 2016, the residency supports an artist or collaboration to spend three weeks developing their experimental choreographic practice with financial, production, technical and creative support from both organisations.

2021 Artist in Residence 

Rebecca's practice is rooted in dance and choreography, but takes whatever form it needs to in order to express an idea, working with elements from other disciplines. Alongside her solo practice, the last 10 years have seen her working as a dancer with choreographer Jo Lloyd and making collaborative work with Sarah Aiken, including participatory project Deep Soulful Sweats,

Rebecca’s works with a collage-like approach, assembling and layering images, narratives, structures, symbolism - learning physicalities and ‘recycling’ materials. Unfolding in theatres, galleries, and unconventional spaces, presentations have included Dance Massive 2015/17, Next Wave Festival 2014, Kier Choreographic Award finals 2016, MPavillion 2018/19, Blindside Gallery 2019, Venice Bienalle College Dance 2018, Dark MOFO, Spring 1883 Windsor Hotel 2016.

Rebecca holds an enduring commitment to bringing people together. Building both small and large ensembles and working collaboratively in devising work. I generate improvisational scores that examine social and ecological systems, explored through works Deep Sea Dances, Pose Band and Sink Hole with Jess Gall and Arini Byng. These projects seek to create temporary sites for inclusive and meaningful connections between those involved.

Rebecca supplements her practice by sharing and exploring ideas through teaching dance at Lucy Guerin Inc, Chunky Move, and VCA and running PO$$E dance and reading group. She works to embody the specificity and liveness of what she calls “dancerly” thinking; complex, change-oriented, contradictory and non-linear. The performance is a bi-product of the process, I value and pay attention to transitions and spaces between.



Rebecca proposes to undertake research working toward a new work ‘Dolphin Caller.’ This project works with choreography and sound using whirly instruments produced from corrugated hosing of different lengths and diameters. Harmonic Whirlies, also known as ‘blugals’ or ‘dolphin callers’ are designed and created by musician Sarah Hopkins. They can be tuned and played in a variety of melodic and percussive ways. Sarah Hopkins Whirlies have been played via kites, strapped to bicycles, and used by Bjork on her album UTOPIA and in her live shows, they have even appeared on Australia’s Got Talent. The basic playing technique involves whirling the instruments through the air at various speeds to change pitch. They came in a range of lengths and widths, each pitch is said to have different vibrational healing qualities.

This project delves into the archives of Sarah Hopkins, now in her 60’s, based in Queensland. As a starting point for this research, Rebecca will collect information about the collaborations between Sarah and choreographer Beth Shelton, together they created several works ‘Wind Music for Earth & Sky’Dance Works Melbourne1986, ‘She Oak Sings’ Tasdance 1987 and, ‘Sky Song’ 1988. Rebecca will not watch footage of this work, instead, will examine other archival material - scores, notation, images as well as conduct and notate conversations with artists, audiences and others involved, both directly and adjacent, including my landlord and performer in one of the works- Rebecca Hilton.

Rebecca’s research will rely heavily on oral history and memory, acquiring knowledge through conversations, considering how movement, sound and process is remembered and transmitted without video or physical presence, slipping between fact and fiction with inevitable inaccuracies.Conversations allow for tangents and chit-chat about practice, art, memory and context. They will be documented and notated.

This project celebrates history looking closely at works that are not considered to be seminal, but were no doubt influential. Developing dialogues within the choreographic, experimental and interdisciplinary art lineage in Australia, that Rebecca is a part of.

Rebecca will conduct choreographic and compositional experiments with the whirlies with the hope that ‘Dolphin Caller” will develop into a performance work shaped by this research. Rebecca has contributed to sound design across several projects and is excited to develop her skills in music composition alongside her physical practice, extending the body through acoustic instrumentation.


Past Artists in Residence

2021: Rebecca Jenson

2020: Nat Randall and Anna Breckon 

2019: Ivey Wawn

2018: Rajni Shah 

2017: Atlanta Eke

2016: Justin Shoulder and Vic Hunt


Information surrounding the next residency will be updated here. To stay up to date with all our Artist Development opportunities subscribe to our e-news and our social channels. Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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