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Youth Dance Maker's Initiative - Summer Workshop Series

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Event description

An immersive summer workshop program for curious movers, future dance makers and choreographers. We welcome movers from all backgrounds and experiences keen to experiment with different ways of moving and making. Ages 14-21.

7x workshops with an exceptional lineup of Melbourne dance artists and choreographers sharing their skills and strategies for choreography and improvisation.


DAY 1 - MONDAY 16th JANUARY (9:30am - 5:15pm)
with Zoe Bastin (Improv), Ngioka Bunda-Heath (Chore), Emily Bowman (Contact Improv) and Jonathan Sinatra (Improv/Media Project)

DAY 2 - TUESDAY 17th JANUARY (9:30am - 4:15pm)
with Amanda Lever (Chore) / Chelsea Byrne (Improv) / Kyall Shanks (Chore)



Step by Step Scores  with Zoë Bastin
Zoë works with expressive traditions of Creative Dance in contemporary choreography. In Step by Step Scores we explore how dance can be a tool for creative research! By spending time together experimenting with improvisation in the studio we will develop a score creating instructions for dancers to move through. Then we mess with it, experimenting with a process of creating and changing structures for improvisation based performances. These tools are key to learning how to construct choreography for improvisation and lots of fun.

Zoë's expanded choreographic practice considers exhibition, installation, publication and performance as part of the same political project - the reorganisation of societal structures that limit bodies. In 2021 she completed a PhD at RMIT, University. Zoë has previously exhibited & performed at the Villa Lena Foundazione, Chunky Move, Bus Projects, Dancehouse, Midsumma Festival, Felt Space, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Seventh Gallery, Testing Grounds, BLINDSIDE, Bloc Projects, KINGS Artist Run, MADA Gallery at Monash University, Project Space at RMIT University & The Substation.

Movement and Storytelling  with Ngioka Bunda-Heath
Ngioka’s workshop is, at times, fast-paced to get dancers exploring the freedom of bodies and minds and incorporates the sharing of choreographic tools, skills, and strategies to create your own phrases of movement. Follow Ngioka's process that opposes typical western norms influenced by her First Nation culture of storying to explore your own dance lineage and storytelling through movement. This workshop may include high-energy sequences and technical terms.

Ngioka is Wakka Wakka, Ngugi from Queensland (matrilineal); and Birrpai from New South Wales (patrilineal). She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) at the VCA- the first Aboriginal woman to graduate in her field. Ngioka performed in works by Mariaa Randall, Sarah Aiken, Rebecca Jensen, and Amrita Hepi. She worked for Bangarra Dance Theatre “Rekindling” their youth education program; is the First Peoples Partnership Coordinator at Chunky Move; and the current Hutchinson Indigenous Fellowship and Residency recipient at the VCA. Ngioka has participated in dance conferences, festivals and residencies internationally. Choreographic work includes; Blood Quantum (2019), Birrpai (2021) awarded Dance Best Ensemble at the Greenroom Awards and Bridge (2022).

Moving Multiplicities  with Emily Bowman
In this workshop we will take time to settle and tune into weight and gravity. The ground is our beginning, allowing a primary relationship and orientation. As we build our resilience to moments of falling, being off-balance and moving at the edges of our stability, we will dwell in the awkward moments and invite curiosity towards the unknown. We will weave between explorations of Contact Improvisation and improvising in solo. We will similarly expand our attention through the lens of composition, attending to our emerging relationships with others and the earthly materials that make up the environment, exploring moving and being moved by others.

Emily is a dance artist, performer, choreographer, teacher, and researcher based in Naarm/Melbourne. She has taught and performed Contact Improvisation (CI) nationally and internationally in the USA, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, and India. Emily also performs CI with her collaborator of ten years, Joey Lehrer, works include Two For Now, and their 2022 sold-out performance Weathering. Emily’s classes are inspired by Nancy Stark Smith, Nita Little, Ray Chung, Keith Hennessy, State of Flux, Rosalind Crisp, among others. She is a WAAPA/Deakin graduate (BA/Hons) and is a current PhD candidate at Deakin. Emily teaches CI at Deakin and runs weekly intensives across Australia. 

Understanding one's physicality and settling into the flow of time and space with Jonathan Sinatra
In this session you will play with some of the methods I've found most useful for connecting your creative thoughts with spontaneous action and video creation. All it takes to benefit from the methods I provide is a little bit of curiosity and playfulness on your part. You'll be exposed to the freedom of improv, assembling several improv techniques to help you feel prepared the next time you're encouraged to "just improvise" and investigate it through film production and dance site discovery.

Jonathan has over 25 years of experience as a professional choreographer and instructor. Principal dancer with Dance Exchange and Australian choreographer Russell Dumas (2001-present). In 13 Rooms, by French choreographer Xavier Leroy (Sydney 2012). Becky Hilton (2010) and Eleanore Didier at the Melbourne International Arts Festival (2014). Europe Contact Exchange Improvisation Teachers (2010-2012). Room to Create, City of Yarra (2019); Dunmoochin Arts Residency are among the selected residencies (2012-2014). Professor of Contemporary Dance, VCA (2020-present). Teaching Artist for ArtLife mixed-ability dance programme at Footscray Community Arts Centre (2010-present).

Choreographic Clarity  with Amanda Lever
A workshop focused on analysing and applying choreographic devices for clear, cohesive, and creative movement performances. You will learn how to use choreographic tools to reshape given phrases and to further solo and group choreography. Whether you have an existing concept you want to progress with guidance, or just want to experiment with movement itself this workshop is designed to give you the knowledge you need to further your creative goals.

Amanda graduated from the University of Melbourne (VCA) with Bachelor of Dance (2009), Post-Graduate Diploma in Performance Creation (2012), and Masters in Choreography (2013, VCA Arts Victoria Creative Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate). She performed for Tasdance (2009), Sela Kiek-Callan (2010-11), Elanor Webber (2013-14) and Delta Project (2014, 2016-19). Choreographic work includes; Hypnagogia, (2015) with visual artist Soma Garner and Body Acousmonium (2019) with sound artist Gillian Lever. Amanda has taught contemporary technique and choreography workshops for The Space and The University of Melbourne. She is currently undergoing projects with Belinda Locke, Delta Project and Stephanie Lake.

Transforming Bodies and Spaces with Chelsea Byrne
Apply image based improvisation techniques to use change perceptions of your body as you dance and using these perceptions to inspire movement. This workshop will use the concept of space as a stimulus for movement; visualising and creating spaces inside your body, playing in the space between bodies, exploring density, expansion and contraction to create new movement pathways and release physical tension. 

Chelsea is a Naarm/Melbourne based dance artist and educator. Her movement practice uses image based improvisation and composition techniques to embody varying tones and textures. Chelsea studied dance extensively and holds a B Arts (Dance) / B Education, P.Grad. Dip. in Performance Creation, and Master of Dance. Her primary passion is creating experiences for young people that broaden their perceptions of dance while fostering interpersonal connection and unapologetic self-expression. 

Modes of Performance with Kyall Shanks

In this workshop we will explore how to use, manipulate and integrate various forms of improvised and set movement, working to refine this into a cohesive score/performance context.

Kyall is a dance artist based in Naarm, and specializes in a variety of different areas within the dance industry. Kyall's work includes performing, teaching, directing and producing for both minor and major large scale professional companies, institutions, national festivals and organisations. Kyall also works within a number of youth and community dance contexts, and is passionate about increasing the accessibility of dance through the elimination of hierarchy and by creating safer spaces for all.


If you have an enquiry about Youth Dance Makers' Summer Workshop Series, please contact Chelsea at

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