Congratulations to our new Performance Housemate 2015, Sarah Aiken!

Sarah will start her residency in April next year to work on SET, a contemporary dance work for the body and objects. First developed as a short piece for Lucy Guerin Inc.'s Pieces for Small Spaces, SET explores actual and socially constructed meanings of objects and bodies.

The work straddles the absurd & representational, aiming to repeatedly shift the audience's readings of simple objects, and the body interacting with them, ultimately revealing the human behind all that she represents.

By considering how we value the inanimate, the work will bring attention to how we read and value the human body in space. By distorting and manipulating perspectives, SET will explores scale, triviality and distribution of value on objects and bodies.

These simple but endlessly versatile props represent the symbols and metaphors that we load onto objects and people. By allowing space for these metaphors to grow, the work will aim to allow the audience to acknowledge and reflect on their own subjectivity; their own prejudices, assumptions, values and feelings.

By giving objects and bodies disproportionate emphasis or undermining and devaluing them, the work will look into the tension between the sublime and the ridiculous, developing poignancy through absurdity, creating pathos with irony. This is a direction Sarah has already investigated more recently with THREE SHORT DANCES, the piece she was commissioned to present as part of the inaugural Keir Choreographic Award.


is a Melbourne based dancer, choreographer and teacher originally from Bellingen in rural NSW. Drawing inspiration from choreographic practices, social phenomena, conceptual and visual arts, Sarah pursues an ongoing interest in how and what we value, utilising dichotomies and clashes, aiming to create poignancy through absurdity.

Sarah's recent choreographic work includes Three Short Dances (Keir Choreographic Award, Dancehouse, Carriageworks 2014), Set (Lucy Guerin Inc. Piece's for Small Spaces, 2013 and EDC Solo Festival of Dance, 2014) and a range of collaborative and interdisciplinary projects across music, live art, film, photography and visual arts.  With Rebecca Jensen, Sarah created OVERWORLD (Next Wave Festival 2014) and founded Deep Soulful Sweats, a participatory, yogic, disco (Next Wave Festival/Speakeasy 2014, FOLA 2014, Dark MOFO 2014, Chunky Move.


Many thanks to our assessment panel:

Felix Preval, Creative Producer, FRINGE festival
Tere O’Connor, NY based choreographer and pedagogue
Michaela Coventry, MegaFun general manager
Sue Healey, NSW choreographer
James Batchelor choreographer, performer and 2014 Housemate
Philipa Rothfield, Dancehouse Creative Adviser
Angela Conquet, Dancehouse AD

Image courtesy of Gregory Lorenzutti