Sela Kiek began working as a dancer/teacher/choreographer after graduating from WAAPA and Adelaide University. Moving to the United Kingdom in 1996, she continued to further her experience of dance, performing and lecturing there until 2004. She continued to pursue her interest in site specific dance throughout this time, creating works for community and professional dancers in various sites, from historic buildings to neglected public places. Sela completed a Master of Philosophy researching site specific performance in 2003 and is undertaking her PhD at Deakin University, investigating audience/ performer spatial relationships in dance created for non-traditional performance venues.
This article is an account of Sela Kiek-Callan’s postgraduate research journey in “Dancing Design”, an exploration of affinities between architecture and dancing bodies which become manifest in embodied responses of weight, rhythm and intensity when dancers pay attention to the built environment in which they are encased.
This essay overviews Sela Kiek's study into Western tourist practices and explains how this research informed her creative strategies for Circulate (2004), a site-specific movement piece that responded to the Hawthorn Town Hall, Melbourne.
This paper investigates how dance performance can challenge our usual perception and use of the performance site and as a result encourage artists to re-think the way we make dance for non-theatre sites. Discussion pertains to our relationships to the built environment and the influence of architectural practices on our experience of places. This leads to an exploration of my creative strategies for a site specific work created in 2007 for university students, at a centrally located area of their campus. The student project paved the way for my thinking in regard to my current doctoral studies which seeks to reveal how we understand built structures through our own bodily schema while at the same time the built environment informs our bodily state.