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CAPTURING THE VANISHING: A choreographer and film

Sue Healey

Platform Paper 60

Sue Healey

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Dance, by its very nature, is fleeting. Compared with other art forms it is not easily documented, notated, or archived. Dance is constantly shape-shifting, re-negotiating its visibility. This is, of course, its magic; the potency of dance lies in its impermanence. However, this presents paradoxes and survival challenges for Australian choreographers, who make their work in an increasingly precarious and complex ecology, in which tangible outcomes and material success hold sway. Healey has spent many years experimenting with the moving image in conjunction with choreography, seeking an antidote to this ephemerality. In this paper she describes her journey from the 1980s to the present, a period of great advancement in technology yet diminishing resources for dance-making. It outlines her strategy to survive by diversifying, adapting, becoming interdisciplinary. How might something new come from re-imagining the power of the human body through the medium of film? How could film capture the visceral, fleshy reality of live performance, and take us beyond the vanishing point, into something new?

This book contains links to videos of Sue Healey's work in dance film. CLICK HERE to for all links

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About the Author

SUE HEALEY is a choreographer, film-maker and installation artist. Healey creates dance for diverse spaces: theatres, galleries and the screen.