Current Project 6123408845 inspired by 'MADE' (Mature Aged Dance Experience)


The Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns will be the place in 2011 for new dance work with Move – Dance TNQ and its new initiative the New Move Network, a program of five, two-week choreographic residencies throughout the year in 'The Space'.

Combining key practitioners and  partnerships the New Move Network will support independent artists in their practice through a studio season.

Creatively the chorographers will have the ability to share their experiences and explore themes of Indigenous, non-indigenous and shared identity, personal histories and collective knowledge with peers and public through engagement in forums, artist talks, masterclasses, workshops and choreographic showings.

The work the artists create will be made through a series of kinaesthetic, text, sound and media processes, that will generate culturally appropriate, innovative and challenging context for new dance in Tropical Far North Queensland.

In 2011 New Move Network gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland; the Regional Arts Development Fund through a Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council partnership that supports local arts and culture; and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Project partners include: JCU School of Creative Arts, Kick Arts Contemporary Arts, Jute Theatre, Cairns Civic Theatre, Arts Nexus and venue partner: The Space - Centre of Contemporary Arts, Cairns.

Venue: The Space - Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, 96 Abbott St Cairns Qld 4870 Australia

  • At a Glance
  • Raymond D. Blanco
  • Bonemap
  • Monica Stevens
  • Sarah Collins
  • Jess Jones

Raymond D. Blanco
14 – 27 February

11 - 24  April

Monica Stevens
27 June – 10 July

Sarah Collins
5 – 18 September

Jess Jones
7- 20 November

imgMy Life in 3 Suitcases

A dance study inspired by Flossie Pitt (my grandmother), and her influence on my career.

From a Malay / Torres Strait Island upbringing, Flossie lived a long and fruitful life enduring and surviving many hardships along the way. In many ways her journey through life became the template for the career path I put myself on.

Through dance and sound the touring life of a dancer will be explored with reference to milestones that marked Flossies life that filtered through to my own… thus reinforcing the importance of place, time, family and energies.


  • Masterclass for dance students; Entry $5
  • work-in-progress showings: Friday 25 February 6:30pm, Saturday 26 February 2:00pm, 6:30pm; Entry $5
  • Forum - critical feedback: Saturday 26 February after the 6:30pm performance; Entry $5

Residency includes Choreographer Raymond Blanco and dancer Debra Bullio at The Space, Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, 14 – 27 February 2011

Sponsors: Arts Queensland, RADF and Cairns Regional Council

Education Kit download (1.39mb PDF)

Raymond D. BLANCO is of Pajinka / Wik (Cape York) Aboriginal heritage mixed with Magarem of Mer Island (TSI) on his paternal side and Erub Island (TSI) and Malay on his maternal side. A 1984 Graduate of the NAISDA, Raymond is an acknowledged leader in the development of Indigenous Dance and the Performing Arts both in Australia and internationally with a diverse career that spans 30 years. One of Australia’s most highly regarded choreographers, directors and performers with a strong motivation in nurturing Indigenous Youth through the arts sees Raymond live, produce work and employed with Dance and Indigenous communities throughout Australia.

Photo courtesy of artistt

The Sweet Spot

In physics ‘the sweet spot’ refers to desire. Rather than the tangible and physical, it is a numerical state, an aggregate of elements that indicatively point to an opportune solution. Sport and musical instruments, refer to the “sweet spot” as having an affinity with the center of percussion, oscillation and other equations, presenting the ultimate highly desirable set of circumstance or sweet state.

Occurring frequently in nature the Fibonacci number pattern is recognized as a phenomenon and often referred to as a "law of nature". This sweet spot is identified by its patterning found throughout natures flora and fauna. Shells, fruit, plants and organic beauty are regarded as natures bounty and are of a seeming chaotic order beyond human perception.

The Sweet Spot project encompasses research design and structural development of a media and sonic environment in reference to the way interactivity may be configured around certain generative actions. It investigates the empathetic space between the performer and the audience, intimacy of the audience and screen environment, and translations of multiplicity and meaning through the convergence of built and natural environments. Using mixed reality and augmented technologies programmed through ubiquitous hand held devices in place of sophisticated motion tracking systems for human movement capture and locative spacialised environmental position GPS and a personalised computer vision system to integrate choreographic and site specific aesthetic concerns.


In association with KickArts Contemporary Arts and Bonemap a free interactive performance installation
Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20 & Thursday 21 April
10 minute sessions between 10:30am - 5pm
Bookings essential via the KickArts Shop - or telephone 40509496

Artist Talk and Masterclass Thursday April 21, 4 - 6pm, Free

Research residency includes Russell Milledge and Rebecca Youdell artistic co-directors of Bonemap in collaboration with sound artist Steven Campbell and software programmer Jason Holdsworth at The Space, Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, 11 – 24 April 2011

Sponsors: Arts Queensland, RADF and Cairns Regional Council, Australia Council for the Arts, KickArts Contemporary Art, School of Creative Arts JCU

4054574744 (1.5mb PDF)

Bonemap is an intermedia artists' collaboration that folds disciplines together to produce artistic expression in creative fault lines. Often working with interdisciplinary teams of artists, Russell Milledge and Rebecca Youdell have initiated collaborative projects that focus on decentralized zones in a number of countries including Singapore, Wales, Japan and regional Australia. The Bonemap aesthetic discipline is a hybrid mesh of performance and media arts framed by an overarching ecological philosophy placing the context of their creative practice in the environments we inhabit and often ignore. Bonemap’s hybridisation is a rupture crossing between gallery, theatre and alternative platforms, and is a natural response to engagement in an intermedial creative ecology. Recent projects and research has included media and performance festivals, audience interactive performance interfaces, computer vision systems for show controls, augmented reality interfaces and mixed reality networked performance.

image courtesy of bonemap

Perspective Perspective

The Aboriginal Australian has at times conceptualised – notions of being a contemporary person. There are current technologies applicable and available. There are cultural and traditional values to be considered. Improvements to social inadequacy have been addressed to some extent as questions, and acceptability, even in the artist environment, is asked of contemporary Aboriginal dance.

Through speculative investigations into movement, photographs, space, light, textiles, film and sound scape trajectories, this dance performance will gather traction and attempt to deliver on some of these notions.


  • Open Public Workshop: Wednesday 29 June, 6.00pm and Monday 4 July, 6.00pm, Entry $10
  • Work-in-progress showings and feedback: Friday 1 July, 7.30pm and Wednesday 6 July, 7.30pm, Entry $5
  • Performance: Saturday 9 July, 7.30pm, Entry $5

Residency includes Choreographer Monica Stevens and dancers Henrietta Baird, Tesha Onus-Brown, Barbra Drummond, Marilyn Miller and musician Darren Blackman at The Space, Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, 27 June – 10 July 2011

The residency coincides with Naidoc week celebrations. Monica Stevens will explore ‘Perspective’  a  dimensional story-telling journey of contemporary Aboriginal Australian, spoken through dance at The Space, Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns with dancers Henrietta Baird, Barbara Drummond, Teesha Onus-Brown and musician Darren Blackman.

NAIDOC week (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee).

Sponsors: Arts Queensland, RADF and Cairns Regional Council

Education Kit download (2.7mb PDF)

Monica STEVENS mBarburum/ Kuku Yalanji/Yidinji is a Dance Consultant and aboriginal woman from Far North Queensland, Australia. She is a founding member of Bangarra Dance Theatre, is a key player in the formation of the national Indigenous dance peak body, Blak Dance and is a member of the Australia Council ATSIA Board. As a professional dancer, Monica has performed in numerous productions with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre and worked with leading lights including ballerina Roslyn Watson, choreographer Dorothea Randall, Michael Leslie, Richard Talonga, Malcolm Cole and Sylvia Blanco. Monica has been taught many significant traditional dances and continues to maintain cultural connections with her community. She is an accomplished choreographer and director, and is currently working on a project coding Indigenous dance at Deakin Motion.Lab in collaboration with the Yirrkala and Saibai communities.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Heart’s Labyrinth

An exploration of ideas using abstract and narrative forms to highlight the eternal male / female relationship, in Heart’s Labyrinth emotions will be explored, dissected and acutely familiar.

Facilitating this exploration will be the traditional foundations of Classical Ballet manipulated, forced and juxtaposed into a modern / contemporary reading.

This work is just as much about challenging the concepts of traditional and modern, that ‘what’s old can be new again’ and creating collisions of the visual and the verbal, dance and theatre worlds as it is about immersing oneself in the creative choreographic process.  


  • Open Public Workshop: Wednesday 14th September, 6.00pm ‘Creating movement for the stage’ Entry $10
  • Work-in-progress performance showings: Friday 9 September, 6.30pm; Friday 16 September, 6.30pm; and Saturday 17 September, 6.30pm, Entry $5
  • Artist Talk - critical feedback: Saturday 17 September, after the 6.30pm performance, Free

Residency includes Choreographer Sarah Collins and Guillaume ‘Willem’ Brugman, Catherine Hassell, Catherine Knight, Cecilia Petursson, William Tim and Rebecca Youdell at The Space, Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, 5 – 18 September 2011.

Sponsors: Arts Queensland, RADF and Cairns Regional Council

foxtongue (1.7mb PDF)

Sarah COLLINS began her dance training in Australia. From the age of 12 until leaving high school she continued her training in England at a dance boarding school. In 1976, at the age of 16, she was accepted into full time training at the Rambert Ballet School in London. This was followed by full time training in Scotland which included scholarship classes with the Scottish Ballet. Sarah’s first professional engagement with a dance company came in 1978 with the Iranian National Ballet Company. This engagement was short lived due to the Iranian Revolution making it impossible to stay in Iran. Sarah returned to London and continued training. Five months later an opportunity to join the modern Bat Dor Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel arose. After two years with Bat Dor Sarah returned to Europe and the following engagements over the next 13 years; Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp, Belgium. The Buhnen der Stadt Bonn, in Bonn, Germany. The Vienna State Opera House in Vienna, Austria and the Buhnen der Stadt Koln’s Tanz –Forum in Cologne, Germany.

Through working with these dance companies Sarah was exposed to a diverse range of both classical and modern/contemporary repertoire. Sarah has danced all the great Classical Ballets e.g. Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Raymonda, Giselle, Coppelia, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty etc. and performed with some of the great dancers of the end of the 20th century including Rudolf Nureyev, Eva Evdokimiva, Yoko Morishita, Sylvie Guillem, Peter Schauffus, Jorge Dunn etc. As well as working with some leading choreographers including Jiri Kylian, Richard Wherlock, Rudolf Nureyev, Jochen Ulrich, Robert Cohan, Louis Falco and Jennifer Muller.

After 8 years with Tanz-Forum in Cologne Sarah returned to Australia, married and now has 3 sons. For 10 years Sarah was the owner / operator of the Regional Institute of Performing Arts with studios located at White Rock and Gordonvale in Cairns, Australia. In 2005 she also taught Contemporary dance, Classical Ballet and Choreography techniques at TAFE Cairns for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cert III & IV Dance course and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Dance Instruction (Distinction) from QUT Since its inception in 2000 until 2010 Sarah has been Artistic Director of Opera in the Outback an annual arts event held at Undara Experience.

image courtesy of the artist


All bodies and interactions are engendered with meaning. Personal, social, political meanings can be ‘read’, and audience understanding comes out of each individuals’ own histories, knowledges, and relationships with ‘body’ – their gendered body, their gendered experience.

‘EnGendered’ is a performance work borne out of the lived rural Australian experience as a particularly ‘gendered’ one. Social ‘norms’ and common language can seem to construct invisible towers, institutions, or prisons where people live out their lives. It is one thing to choose your identity, and another to have it chosen for you by those who are truly ‘acceptable’.

The ‘EnGendered’ project encompasses the research of local women’s experiences and the development of a contemporary dance performance investigating gender, located particularly in Far North Queensland, but with the input and common experience of other female dancers and theatre practitioners from interstate.

We look at gender as being performative in itself – something malleable, flexible and creative – when it is not fixed, restricting and destructive. We look at the underlying implications of extremely gendered experiences, including the menacing, objectifying, phobic, and flattering.

The sensuality of the environment, the excitement of the climatic conditions, and romance of ‘the bush’ come into play through movement, sound and light; along with rural FNQ character archetypes, dialogue and theatrical moments. Set in Far North Queensland, the ‘EnGendered’ experience might be sexy and silly, or sarcastic and unsettling.

Research Residency includes dancer, CCD worker and performance-maker Jess Jones in collaboration with independent artists from Far North Queensland and interstate, at The Space, Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns, 7 - 20 November 2011.

Sponsors: Arts Queensland, RADF and Cairns Regional Council

Education Kit download (1mb PDF)

Jess JONES is a contemporary performer/maker, interested in collaborative processes and working across art forms. Locally, Jess has performed as part of OnEdge, Cairns (2006 – 09); See Hear Now, Townsville (2006 & 07), with Zane Saunders for ‘Blueprint’ (2009), and with Bonemap for ‘Brink’ and ‘FpFf’, Cairns (2005 & 06). Jess has a Bachelor of Contemporary Art – Dance from Deakin Uni, Melbourne (2004), and she is currently undertaking studies in Community Development and Project Management. Jess teaches contemporary dance on the Far North Queensland Tablelands, and works on Youth & Community Cultural Development projects in the Tablelands region.

Photo courtesy of the artist.


Partner logos


Ausdance Qld~ Consultation Meeting

Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns
10.30am - 1.30pm
Monday 13 August 2012

Talking about actions that can be integrated at state level to improve dance.
Identifying ways to leverage current resources and strategies for connecting and collaborating.
Addressing the opportunities for (north) Queensland dance in discussion with local dance practitioners.
Outcomes: Information going directly from Ausdance Queensland into a consultation report for Arts Queensland towards a new Dance Action Plan for Queensland. All dance practitioners and teachers welcome.

We hope you can join us - RSVP Coca 4050 9401



Education Kits available under Artists.

270-310-7908TNQ Dance Strategy
PDF 2.9mb