First premiered in October 2015 at Ken Unsworth Studio in Alexandria, Sydney.
DEPARTURES  celebrates the 10th creative performance collaboration between Ken Unsworth and Anca Frankenhauser, Susan Barling, Patrick Harding Irmer and Ross Philip who are the Australian Dance Artists.

Ken provided the title as well as certain scenarios to which we choreographed and created a visual dance landscape. Certain images or moments in each scene were reverent to Ken’s imagining, but many times we would re-imagine to the music and the generic concept of the title.

Ken is also a lover of music as we are, especially live, and he commissioned an original score from English composer Jonathan Cooper with whom we have worked closely since 2009.   Collaborations are always a two-way process, even more so when other contributors are involved. This was evident in the latter part of rehearsals when, some musical changes had to be made to accommodate the way the choreography had evolved.

Departures is the most elaborate of our set-oriented works presented in Ken’s studio. These set installations are conceived and designed by Ken and then realized by the technical production team.

The premiere season of Departures received embracing and very positive comments from professional theatre commentators and it is with great pleasure that we announce the return of Departures for its 2nd season at the Ken Unsworth Studio April 1-5, 2016, by invitation only.

Links to reviews


Photos by Regis Lansac

Photos by Regis Lansac

Departures –
I enter Ken’s studio, depart Alexandria and am transported into an other-worldly creative treasure chest where legendary arts-practitioners of international standing, immense expertise and ingenuity and technical brilliance in every discipline have gathered to create an experience beyond dreams in a magical, Tardis-like space. As soon as the curtain opens and time and space reveals itself through Ken’s imagery and Miles’ engineering genius, the bud of expectation blossoms with excitement, joy and astonishment as you, the dancers, burst in, literally through Ken’s art. You each express a personal, physical language I’ve come to know and love over many years. When combined, you harmonise, juxtapose, clash and resolve, create textures, colours and tonalities in movement. When combined with the imagery, poetry, vocal, instrumental and recorded music, lighting, theatrical magic, and physical performances on, off, and above the stage, it’s almost overwhelming. The beauty of these artistic relationships honed over decades, crafted into gems! Poignancy, humour, love, loss and longing, the sublime, the dangerous, the dirty, the surreal. I feel so privileged that I have been one of the way-too-few who have witnessed this amazing creation. Thank you, all, on and off stage for this extraordinary gift.
Guy McEwen (ADA facebook page)