Bookclub: Choreographic Practices

Bookclub: Choreographic Practices

Angela Goh, Ivey Wawn, Patricia Wood, Lizzie Thomson and Rhiannon Newton are independent choreographers from Sydney. They come together in the context of a Bundanon Residency to think together and independently about how reading practices manifest in and inform their approaches to choreography.

Rhiannon Newton
Rhiannon's work has been presented at the Judson Church (New York), Nagib On Stage (Slovenia), PAF (France), Brisbane Festival, Metro Arts, Eyes Wide Festival (Strut Dance), Dancehouse, First Run (Lucy Guerin Inc.), Critical Path and the PACT Centre for Emerging Artists. Since 2012, with the support of the Australia Council, the West Australian Department of Culture and the Arts, DirtyFeet, Metro Arts, Critical Path, UNSW, Dancehouse and Marrickville Council, Rhiannon has worked with a shifting group of dancers to develop “Bodied Assemblies”, a group practice for bringing- dances-into- being using live repeating processes.

Angela Goh is an Australian artist working with dance in theatres, galleries, and telepathetic spaces. Her work often deals with tropes of femininity; the supernatural; and dance as both a form and as a force. Her work has been presented around Australia and internationally, including France, Belgium, Denmark, the USA and SouthEast Asia. Recent presentations include in the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Art, and Next Wave Festival, as well as appearing around Europe as part of Galerie International’s Group Show.

Lizzie Thomson is a choreographer and performer. Her practice interrogates processes of embodiment as they relate to cultural, historic and temporal forces. Her work draws on both choreographic and sculptural processes and takes multiple forms including performance, video installation, text and sculpture. She has presented work at venues including Carriageworks, Performance Space, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Campbelltown Arts Centre, Eastern Bloc Gallery, Serial Space, Alaska Projects, Critical Path, ReadyMade Works, Omeo Dance Studio, The Giant Dwarf Theatre, Dancehouse, ACO Air (Hong Kong), SODA Universität der Künste and on the ABC Arts Online Program.

Patricia Wood is a performer and choreographer. She has worked with dance companies and independent artists performing in Australia, Asia and Europe. These include Les Commandos Percu (Fr), Stan’s Café (UK), Tasdance, and with Mette Edvardsen, Ros Crisp, Clare Dyson, Natalie Cursio, Dean Walsh, Jo Pollitt and Paea Leach. Patricia has received support from the Australia Council for the Arts, Ausdance, Critical Path and Frontyard.

Ivey Wawn (1990) is an independent artist working with contemporary practice in a range of contexts, both as a performer/collaborator, and in producing her own work. Also studying Political Economy at the University of Sydney, her choreographic work is centred around deep considerations and analysis of political systems and resource distribution. Using observations on micro and macro scales, Ivey develops complex systems of transformation, through choreography toward modes of care and consideration that hope to better fit contemporary conditions. Her practice embraces dancing, doing, drawing, thinking, projecting, reproducing, regressing, watching, writing, waiting, mapping, planning, enacting and more.


Rhiannon, Angela, Lizzie, Ivey and Patricia will come together to share choreographic practices through the format of a bookclub. In 2016 they were involved in Mette Edvardsen’s project “Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine” in the Sydney Biennale. Through a dedicated process of memorising a book they became a library of living books. It was a meaningful project, which impacted each of practices in significant and different ways. In this residency they take this shared history as a beginning point for sharing and developing accumulating strategies for navigating choreographic transformations of text. Engaging with diverse text-based materials and different practices for reading, becomes a methodology for thinking together and entering both collaborative and independent choreographic research.


Leading into the presentation of Bodied Assemblies at Dancehouse in Dance Massive in March 2017, Rhiannon will guide two weeks of intensive practice for the dancers (Bhenji Ra, Ivey Wawn and Julian Wong) to deeply immerse them in the improvisation methodologies and rigorous live processes of embodiment and repetition fundamental to the curated work. Musician Bree van Reyk will also join the second week to continue deepening the responsive relationship between voice, percussion and repetition.


Rhiannon and Angela continue to EXCHANGE working processes, by physically engaging in one another's work.


EXCHANGE working processes, by physically engaging in one another's work. Embodying specific choreographic instructions or physically trying out a score from the other person's work will enable the helpful process of being able to watch your own work from the outside, and witness a different person's choices / ways of interpreting your ideas. Here we are proposing to go beyond the standard idea of the 'outside eye', by engaging each other as 'outside bodies', who each possess a wealth of embodied knowledge and intelligence. As 'outside bodies', we can get inside each other's work, and provide feedback from a physical perspective, which is so valuable for a practice which is intrinsically a physical one. This form of embodied exchange offers a level of specificity and articulation that is key to the formulation of logic and in-time choreographic sensitivity.