March 23, 2014

Progress on the Soiree Sforza Film 

This afternoon, after a productive fifth rehearsal weekend in the Unsworth Studio, Anca, Sues, Patrick, Ross, Ken and myself traveled across the Sydney Harbour bridge to the studio of Paul Nichola, who had been hired to film and edit last year’s production of Soiree Sforza. (July 2013)

Paul, a noted film-maker  showed us the almost finished product and explained what technical processes he had used to transform the raw studio footage into a more polished cinema-style look. 

We were all enthralled with what we saw.  But what was underlying all this beautiful imagery were all the beautiful images that the dance artists had created originally.

It is interesting that dancers don’t always understand and appreciate what they give out to an audience, what images they present, and what effect it has on them. They don’t always understand the images because they are the image!  

For the first time they all saw this in Paul’s edited version. Dancers may seem glamorous and supra-human, but really they are mostly humble and hard-working. There is no real glamour to what they do --- they don’t lead glamorous lifestyles--- but they do produce glamour….! Interesting, this word glamour. It actually appears in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and is still in current dictionaries referring to witchery and images produced by magic. 

Yes, that’s Australian Dance Artists and Ken Unsworth……! 

(But I do declare a conflict of interest!)

Norman Hall 

Founding director and creative collaborator

March 23, 2014

February 26th 2014

Pushing the creative and physical boundaries that is what we do best, "and loving it"  - adding and subtracting until we feel the mix is right. The choreographic muse comes to us in the most unexpected ways and we grab it with both hands, heart and soul. Onwards and upwards Sues, Anca, Patrick, Norman, Ross and Ken. Aka ADA

Ross Philip


“The Arrangement” First Rehearsal. January 24th – 29th, 2014

First day was spent cleaning and preparing the theatre space – many changes have occurred since our last production of “Soiree Sforza”. Scenery and props have been constructed as well as the stage being widened so better sight lines for audience.

The Arrangement will include The Song Company, but for now Australian Dance Artists have gathered with Ken to read through his extensive synopsis of images, share his ideas and thoughts and discuss the many details involved. As always throughout the journey to opening night there is robust conversation and healthy exchanges concerning all aspects of the show.

The order of the show has been decided and we have the music to work with. The Song Company recorded “The Arrangement” at the Art Gallery of NSW August 2013. They will begin a 3 week rehearsal period with us in June with the opening night set for 12th July.

Susan Barling




Thoughts on The Arrangement Rehearsals


 Friday, January 24th -- 27

The Australian Dance Artists convened for the first time this year in the Unsworth Studio in Sydney to commence work on the latest project, The Arrangement.

 Over the Australia Day long weekend of 4 days, it was amazing how much was done during this time. Ken has commissioned the score from Jonathon Cooper in part to provide a challenge working with new music. In past projects, music has often been chosen by the dance artists to suit the mood of each scene.

Jonathon’s new score provides an astounding variety of musical styles and vocal texts, voiced by The Song Company* (  which definitely provides new music for the dance artists to work within Ken’s scenic structure for each section.

As the founding director of the ensemble, I am always astounded at how quickly the creative ideas flow between the four performers, to the point where they don’t need “A” director. THEY are the choreographers and directors of their own work.  

I sit out front in the studio and watch in quiet awe at what’s materializing in front of me on the stage. My occasional comments are not directorial, but dramaturgical, giving feedback as to what is being communicated to an audience sitting out front.

Norman Hall


The Arrangement February 8 th - 10 2014

Second Rehearsal The Arrangement  February 8 th - 10  2014

Its now two weeks later and Norman, Susan, Anca, Patrick and Ross (aka ADA )have come together to continue the choreographic journey.

Within the composition of songs, which is The Arrangement, there are 5 musical interludes which have been constructed specifically for us to create a concept, the images and physical language, choreography.

So we have started on some of those – Ross and Susan had started on the first interlude at the previous rehearsal in January. As always in our process when we have breaks in between rehearsals it gives us a chance in that separation to consider and reflect.

Now we have come back to the studio and discovered different choreographic thoughts and options which evolved in a very natural and organic way, to the point where we were able to finish the duet. As always it is imperative to have some one giving artistic comment and advice from the front.  Anca and Patrick were the vital eyes from the front for us that day.

We have been working together for over 15 years in this same manner of collaboration. It is very special as we absolutely trust in each other’s artistic influence. We bat around and try different things until we feel and it feels like the right one.

Susan Barling