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Event description

Escape Velocity


Date: Thursday 29th SEPTEMBER, 2022
Time: 7pm – 8:30pm
Price: Pay what you can (Temperance Hall values this event at $15)

Courtesy of the Artist is a screening and conversation series focusing on significant dance works from both the recent and not so recent past by some of our community's most celebrated artists. Caring for the ephemeral artefacts of our dance histories and herstories, to revisit a moment in time and ask what was happening for the artist and the world at that time - perhaps as a way to look at where we are now. Grab your popcorn and get cozy to watch a significant moment from our collective performance-pasts and join in a conversation with the featured artist. 

Courtesy of the Artist is curated by Temperance Hall's Artistic Associate, Luke George, as part of the Care Tactics 2021-23 program of workshops, screenings, talks and artistic development. Find out more HERE.

Escape Velocity
Company in Space (1997)

Green Mill Dance Project, VCA Hybrid Room, Melbourne, June 1997
Digital Dancing, The Choreographic Centre in Canberra, 1997
Australian Opera Studios, Melbourne, February 1998
Green Room Award for Outstanding Creativity 1998
Artists: Hellen Sky and John McCormick
Performers: Louise Taube and Hellen Sky
Choreography dance
Hellen Sky with Louise Taube
Choreography camera
Hellen Sky with Luke Pither and Kelli Alred live camera performance
Sound design: Garth Paine
Lighting design: Nik Pajanti
Spatial design: Hellen Sky
Rigging design: Simon Barley
3D Graphics: Marshal White
Photography: Jeff Busby
Video documentation: Paul Huntingford
Green Room Award for Outstanding Creativity
"Inspired by Mark Dery’s book of the same name, Escape Velocity sought to examine the role of the body in the virtual world. As technology revolutionises our public, private and interstitial spaces (such as the internet), shrinking the globe, compressing time and expanding horizons, the reach of an arm, the length of a stride is distorted and confused. There’s no need for a nod and a wink by e-mail, we can’t embrace by video conference and our eyes won’t ever meet across a crowded chat room. So where does flesh and fragile bone fit into the new geographies of the late 20th century? Has technology accelerated us free of each other’s orbits, into a solitary virtual world where our bodies are an irrelevance, a hindrance?”

                                                                              - Sophie Travers (then Hansen), Real Time Arts

Leading the way in experimentation with digital and communication technologies, Hellen Sky’s collaborations with John McCormick through Company in Space, created groundbreaking installations and performances. Escape Velocity was a pivotal work in their collaboration and developments working with sensory-spatial laser trigger technology, the performer and audience bodies and multimedia.

Escape Velocity is the speed at which one body overcomes the gravitational pull of another body. The contemporary desire to escape the physical through technology is a version of the ancient quest to evade the body’s mortality and access “other” existences in spiritual or metaphysical realms. The complex ethical and artistic implications which this contemporary quest embodies are enmeshed in the multiple perspectives on the body incorporated in the work.


Hellen Sky is an Australian digital choreographer / performer / director / writer. Her inter-disciplinary work bridges dance, performance, theatre, and installation extended through new technologies. She collaborates with artists, scientists, performers, composers, academics, designers, writers, architects, interface designers and programmers to develop scores and technology systems that often use real time data generated by the body to effect the relationship between multiple media to form total choreographies for live performance and installations. Hellen studied at the Australian Ballet School and at the Victorian College of the Arts. She was a member of the Australian Performing Group (Pram Factory) and a founding member of Circus Oz. She was co-founder of internationally recognized new media performance company, Company In Space, 1992–2004 (with John Mc Cormick); Fellow of the Australia Council Dance Fund 2004–06; Nominee of the Leonardo MIT, Rockerfeller Ford Foundation Global Crossing Award 05;  From 2009 - 2012  post graduate studies  “Borderless Bodies” RMIT  Architecture Dept SIAL (Spatial Information Architectural Laboratory) founder and Artistic Director of Dancehouse, Centre for Moving Arts, Melbourne from 1991–2001

Image Credit Jeff Busby


This is a COVIDSafe event, please do not attend if you are feeling unwell. You can find more information on what Temperance Hall is doing to keep here.

Bathrooms are for all-genders and wheelchair accessible

If you have any specific accessibility needs or any queries regarding the event, please contact Temperance Hall Program Producer, Anna McDermott

Temperance Hall acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land in which we dance and create, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation, and pay our respect to Elders both past and present and, through them, to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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    Refund policy

    Refunds are available up to 1 day prior to the event