Strange Attractor: an intensely enriching week

Strange Attractor was one intensely enriching week of dance, development, discussion. As one of the project producers, along with the unstoppable Adelina Larsson and Jamie Winbank, I was overjoyed to see the vision of the project evolve from its first incarnation in 2013 to one that has enabled such a fertile ground for artist development.

photo 2The project this year saw nine dance artists connected to Canberra, many of whom had worked together previously in various capacities here and beyond the ACT, selected to participate in a week long choreographic development lab including audience showings at Gorman Arts Centre and QL2 Dance. The week enabled rare opportunities for artists to share creative practice/methodologies, engage in critical/peer feedback, and exposure and dialogues with audiences.

For me the most valuable aspect of the week was utilising focussed time to experiment, play and create amongst peers who were undertaking similar investigative research. I was lucky enough to share this time to work with my collaborator Caitlin Welch on the first development of our new site dance multimedia adventure Work It. We site danced, filmed, tested, edited, responded, discussed, reversed, repeated, reflected, re-edited, re-responded….developing new working processes and material that have set us in good stead in anticipation of full creative development in 2015. To have this time, space and resources, the biggest resource being each other to bounce off, was crucial and invaluable.

photo 1Facilitator for the project, Natalie Cursio, dotted our days with questions, provocations and invitations to interact with each others’ creative approaches. Her approach laid a malleable structure for the week, giving the lab a concentrated focus with the right amount of creative chaos that often fuels artistic process.

As a Canberra based dancer invested in the development of quality performing arts here, Strange Attractor was also an artform building exercise, a seed for the growth of our professional community of dance. Being surrounded by such a wealth of creativity, positivity and engagement with dance practice in its process and performance I feel exhaustedly energised and motivated to make, discuss, engage and to do the work of an artist.

I wish to thank Adelina and Jamie, the beautiful artists and project supporters, Ausdance ACT, Gorman + Ainslie Arts Centres, artsACT and QL2 Dance for the impetus and contribution to dance culture. We are excited by the possibilities of Strange Attractor to continue to cultivate professional dance in Canberra and beyond.

Alison Plevey
Co-Director, Lingua Franca


Participating Artists:

Amelia McQueen,
Alison Plevey,
Jamie Winbank,
Cadi McCarthy,
Laura Boynes,
Janine Proost,
Paul Simon Jackson,
Tanya Voges,
Miranda Wheen

Produced by Adelina Larsson, Alison Plevey and Jamie Winbank.
Facilitated by Natalie Cursio
Technical Manager: Guy Harding
Documentation: Lorna Sim and Caitlin Welch
Front of House: Merillee and Steve Chignell
This project was supported by:
Gorman + Ainslie Arts Centres,
QL2 Dance.
Strange Attractor 2014 was supported by QL2 Dance through a Curated Residency.


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About Alison Plevey

Alison is an award-winning choreographer and dance and physical artist based in Canberra. Her practice spans youth dance and theatre, education, cross-disciplinary collaborations, festival commissions, solo research and arts industry development in regional NSW and the ACT. Alison holds a first class honours degree from WAAPA. She is a member of The Childer’s Group, an independent arts advocacy group in Canberra. Recent works include ‘Mine!’ (ACT National Science Week 2017), ‘Nervous’ at Mount Stromlo Observatory, and ‘Strings Attached’ at New Acton, ‘Dancing with Drones’ (Performance Space LiveWorks 2015), ‘Shake It’ (Art, Not Apart Festival 2017), ‘Autonomous’ (You Are Here Festival 2017), ‘Sprout’ (Art, Not Apart Festival 2016), ‘Heatwave’ (Dance on the Edge 2016), ‘Johnny Castellano is Mine’ (The Street Theatre 2014), ‘WORK IT’ (Art, Not Apart and You Are Here Festivals 2015). Alison is Co-Director of dance and physical theatre company Lingua Franca with Adam Deusien. Based in Bathurst they create visceral original performance engaging professional, emerging and community artists. Their recent work ‘unsustainable behaviour’ was presented at the Regional Arts Australian Conference, ArtLands Dubbo 2016). Alison is Leader of new Canberra company Australian Dance Party, driven by her ongoing study of dance as a universal communicative medium and a powerful practice for humanity to experience, debate and celebrate. The Party is an evolution of her work as a solo artist and inspired collaborations with diverse artists in Canberra. She aims to build the sustainability of professional dance in our political capital and legitimise the role of the arts in our contemporary context.