Grace Edwards

Freelance writer – creative – media-maker

Trespassing with….Chunky Move’s Sara Black


“Beneath the glow of a sophisticated video tracking system, a lone organic being mutates in and out of human form into unfamiliar, sensual and grotesque creature states.”

– Glow, chunkymove.com.au

Melbourne’s acclaimed contemporary dance company Chunky Move is busy performing a remount of the award-winning solo work, Glow for some very lucky Sydney audiences. Taking turns in the lead role are the talented performers Harriet Ritchie and Sara Black. Sara is no stranger to this work; in 2007 she was nominated for a Green Room award in 2007 and won a Helpmann award in 2008 for her performances of Glow.

Name: Sara Black
Occupation: Contemporary dance performer

1. How did you first enter into the world of contemporary dance? I was watching my aunt, Narelle Benjamin, being amazing.

2. Australian contemporary dance artists are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is dance. What is ‘dance’ to you? Dancing is breathing, and dance always has drama. Sometimes we choose to enhance our stories with lights and music; for instance, my fingers are dancing over the keyboard listening to Jose by the keyboard’s light.

3. Glow is a ‘live’ show in the most profound sense, as it involves working with a video tracking system. How does that experience of working differ from with working in a traditional environment with fixed lighting and sound? It becomes a duet; you are dancing with the light around you. No counts, no glow tape; you have the freedom to just truly perform.

4. How does Glow change each time you perform it? It evolves and becomes a part of you. You come to understand every movement and, over time, it is like it just oozes out of you instead of you having to think about the movements should be.

5. You won the award for Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production at the 2008 Helpmann Awards for your performances of Glow. What is it like reprising a role for which you have received such an honour? The same as if I were reprising any show. You always want to continue to evolve, to always find something new. But you also want to hold on to the integrity of the original concept.

6. An extraordinary number of dancers working in Australia, like you, are graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts. What is it like to bump into your classmates at work? The VCA is a strong part of the arts scene in Victoria and it encourages its students to make their own work. It’s really nice to have a working relationship with people that you have also studied with, and you also begin to make work for each other!

7. Unlike less established dancers, you have a strong working relationship with the Melbourne’s major dance companies. How has being able to find relatively constant work affected you as an artist? I feel so lucky, because since I left uni I have been able to work many different outstanding performers. I learn so much from the people I work with and I feel like every project has made me evolve ever more into the performer I am.

8. On a final note, what do you do on your days off, and how do you keep fit for the job? I lie in bed and recover!!!!!!

Chunky Move will perform Glow at the Seymour Centre in Sydney on October 13 – October 16

To purchase tickets visit: http://www.seymour.usyd.edu.au

For more information on Chunky Move, visit: http://www.chunkymove.com.au.

Meanwhile, check out the amazing video preview of Glow from stagenoise.com below:

Article published in its original form at Trespass Magazine

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