When I noticed Australian choreographer Sue Healey had been named choreographer of the month by DLUX, I couldn’t help but tell you a bit more about her. I seconded with Sue in Sydney three years ago when she was working on The Curiosities and found her an honest, engaging and humble person to be around.
Healey works across a range of mediums, from performance to film and always with a focus on education. Her company is a small one, but consistently work toward a goal of creating a highly-detailed movement language.
Often bringing performances out of the traditional performance space, Healey transforms the audience’s perspective on viewing dance, and thus begins to bridge the traditional audience/performer relationship. Allowing for increased accessibility, Healey chooses themes that both teach and engage her audience, using the assistance of film or projections to enhance a conceptual idea.
Originally from New Zealand, studying with a degree in Science, Healey moved to Australia to continue studying, but in Dance, completing a Bachelor of Arts (Dance Performance) from the Victorian College of the Arts, and later a Master’s degree in Choreography from Melbourne University.
In 1983 she founded Dance Works with fellow choreographer/dancer Nanette Hassall performing and choreographing for the company until 1988. From 1989-91, Healey moved to NY, worked with Zvi Gottheiner Company, studying with other artists including Trisha Brown Co, Dana Reitz, Irene Hultman and Merce Cunningham Co.
Basing herself in Melbourne, Australia through the 90’s, Healey was commissioned by a number of Australian dance company across the country. In 1993-95, Healey was the artistic director of Vis-à-Vis Dance Canberra creating seven seasons of new work. Moving to Sydney in 1999, Healey now works with body performance and film to create new works.
Her artistic statement reads as follows: I create dance that acknowledges the potency of the human body to take us into the realm of the extraordinary. I believe dance to be vital human research and as a means to communicate across cultural boundaries. I am committed to creating a theatrical language that illuminates and transforms, revealing subtle layers of movement and perception.
The mentor aspect that’s affected me most about Healey is her focus on education. Lecturing at universities, teaching choreography and film, touring through Australia and China, she’s also been involved with various research panels linking both science and dance related subjects. Education is something I’m interested in, in forums both traditional and non-traditional. I believe that education is essential for dance to reach it’s potential, and I think it a valuable and accessible mode for discovery…
Here’s something to get your thoughts moving:
Will Time Tell? (2006). Length: 12min30
For more information, check out her website: http://www.suehealey.com.au