Screendance - Ian Potter Museum of Art


08 Sep 2020

The Potter is pleased to present three filmic dance works, created by third year BFA Dance students at the Victorian College of the Arts as part of the choreography subject Screendance.

Screendance is the name of a hybrid artform combining choreography and filmmaking, in which the finished dance work takes the form of a film, rather than a live performance, and the movement is devised in relationship to the camera. Often screendance works are produced with the same techniques and production values as a movie – including cinematography, lighting and editing – and are made to be viewed in a cinema setting.

This form enables the choreographer to explore unconventional environments for dance performance, and opens up rich possibilities to experiment with narrative sequencing, the choreographic nature of editing and the audience’s point of view.

Screendance is peculiarly suited to our current moment of COVID lockdowns, during which it has not been possible to stage public performances. The VCA offers the Screendance subject every year, but in 2020 this course has held a particular resonance for students, who have not had their usual access to Faculty film equipment, studio spaces and editing suites to create their films.

The three emerging choreographers whose works are presented here have responded to the constraints of working from home with great ingenuity and wit, using smartphones and DLSR cameras to film in their domestic environment or local neighbourhood, and enlisting family members as performers and soundtrack composers.

The results are a credit to the talents of the students – Lizzie Johnstone, Sarah Saxon and Jess Taylor – and also to the guidance of their lecturer, Dr Siobhan Murphy, who is an accomplished Screendance practitioner in her own right.

Lizzie Johnstone, Chaos, baby 2020, 2:51 min, Choreography Lizzie Johnstone, Dancer Bethany Reece, Score David Johnstone


Sarah Saxon, Tomatoes and Oranges 2020, 1.59 min, Choreography Sarah Saxon, Performers Robyn and Brett Saxon


Jess Taylor, Isolated Stillness 2020, 2:07 min, Choreography Jess Taylor and Mitch Taylor, Dancer Mitch Taylor