Body of Ideas Lab

VIEW BODY OF IDEAS PHOTO ESSAY. Designed by Rhys Morris.

Body of Ideas is a program that looks at notions of the body and how it is being reflected back in society, in art and in dance. In 2016 Body of Ideas will encapsulate a two-day provocation and FORUM: THE FUTURE BODY (Sun 11 Dec, 11am-1pm), as well as a week-long workshop with Antony Hamilton (21 to 25 November) exploring – The Body as a system that fails.

Body of Ideas is curated by Critical Path Associate Artist Samantha Chester.


Fri 9 Dec
9-6pm: with facilitators Tim Darbyshire, Lee Wilson, Frances Barbe and Angela Goh

Sat 10 Dec
9-6pm: with facilitators Tim Darbyshire, Lee Wilson, Frances Barbe and Angela Goh
6:30pm Artist dinner

Invited artists Lee Wilson, Angela Goh, Tim Darbyshire and Frances Barbe will work with participants exploring some thoughts on these provocations from the perspective of their current practices. They will engage with the themes in an act of play, in an act of violence, in an act of exploration, in an act of curiosity.

PARTICIPANTS: Amelia Ducker, Anthony Skuse, Diane Busuttil, Geraldine Balcazaar, Julia Cotton, Julie Anne Long, Kate Sherman, Leeke Griffith, Matt Cornell, Rob McCredie, Ryuchi Fujimura, Shannon Ryan, Teresa Izzard and Tim Green. 

This investigation will be guided by four provocations that unpinned Chester’s travel as part of her Churchill Fellowship in 2014 and her subsequent research from 2015:

  • The Body as an Idea
  • The Body as an act of Impossibility
  • The Body as a system that fails
  • The Body as a Dilemma

‘This came out of an experience I had while travelling on my 2014 Churchill Fellowship.  As part that journey I participated in the Barcelona International Dance Exchange a five day platform for networking and exchange for dancers, choreographers and performers. The focus of the exchange was to provide space, opportunity for conversation and a concentrated place to work together to research and develop material. As part of this process they run what they call B>Labs where all participants can bring in ideas related to a theme that is proposed by the facilitator, and engage themselves in an exploration or process. Each group has a facilitator, but his/her role is not to teach but rather it is a horizontal exchange of knowledge. During the five days there were up to eight B>Labs happening at any one time. The program is curated by Sebastián García Ferro (AR/ES) and happens in spring each year in Barcelona.

When I was there, over 50 artists from around the world participated, it was very exciting as each day you were involved in someone else process or idea. The ideas ranged from exploring perpetual motion of choreographic structures, to ideas of risk in performance to dancing with the internal systems of the body. What was also interesting was the sharing at the end of the day, so people coming together to show or discuss work. I understand that this is not a new idea but there was something about it – the way it has been developed. There was so much aspiration, desire and ambition to make good work from deep fascinations and sharing. It was a very connecting experience and what was even more relevant was that it reminded me that we were all in the same game, that we are all looking to make work that reflects back this tenuous life. What I also got was the sheer volume of how the body was being witnessed, cajoled seduced and constructed by these 50 artists and as a way to pay homage to this time I created a list of what I experienced.

  1. The body as an act of theatre
  2. The body as home
  3. The body as something separate
  4. The body as a dilemma
  5. The body as juxtaposition
  6. The body as story
  7. The body as an idea……..only!
  8. The body as a point of inspiration
  9. The body as an insult
  10. The body as systems that can fail
  11. The body as a container
  12. The body as an act of revolution
  13. The body as an act of movement
  14. The body as a creator
  15. The body as an act of death
  16. The body as an act of impossibility


Samantha Chester: is a mix of many things, educator, facilitator producer and movement theatre maker, she was the co – founder and director of of Queen Street Studio (now Brand X) for seven years and a half years and is currently the director of independent dance space ReadyMade Works alongside Linda Luke. She has made work in many contexts for community, independently in educational environments and is interested in the ongoing value of creative expression as having agency for social change and conditions for creativity. She is the current Associate Artist for Critical Path and Lecturer in movement at WAAPA.

Frances Barbe:
gestural, organic movement language draws on a unique combination of western dance, theatre movement, and Japanese performance including butoh and Suzuki’s actor training method. The focus is not so much on the style of butoh, but rather the rich, imagistic processes that underpin the practice. The work owes much to her many years touring as a performer with butoh dancer Tadashi Endo and the experience of establishing her own company in London, Fran Barbe Dance Theatre. She is debut new work Exsquisite at Metro Arts in November 2016

Tim Darbyshire: works employ physicality, choreography, sound, set and lighting design, visual installations and text, exploring ambiguities and paradox between performative states. Tim studied at QUT in the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine

Angela Goh
is a dancer and choreographer from Sydney. She has been developing her own work through performances, residencies and scholarships in Australia, Asia and Europe. 
Recent works include Predictable Dances, an ongoing performance project in collaboration with a psychic, the ongoing series Dedicated Dances, and the solo work Out There Deep. Angela is one half of Tiger Tiger, a collaborative practice with musician and writer Megan Clune. Their first work, The Exorcism of Megan Clune and Angela Goh, premiered in 2014 at the You Are Here Festival in Canberra. Their work Inspirational Practices premiered 2014 at the Oxford Art Factory as part of the program Free Fall, curated by ALASKA projects.

Lee Wilson
Branch Nebula: was founded in 1999 by Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters, the company works across disciplines in performance, dance and design to challenge mainstream cultural conventions. The company is acclaimed for its innovative work with street-styles


Photo credit: Sam Chester

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