Kay Armstrong talks about her Peggy van Praagh fellowship

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I am not ashamed to say that I find myself at the beginning again. But I have been at the beginning of so many things, so many times, that I am not particularly worried, just curious as to how this particular beginning is unfolding itself with the support of my Ausdance Peggy Van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship.

Working since 2007 predominantly in the youth and emerging dance sectors, I had clocked up seven years of devoting my career to the development and sustainability of many other people’s artistic trajectories.

At the beginning of 2013 in the wake of personal traumatic losses, I realised that I had too many hats balanced precariously on my head and the load was too heavy to bear. I ‘closed shop’ on my company youMove and decided that it was time to return to my arts practice.

My Fellowship has three synergistic professional development activities, each one feeding into the other, and all three supporting my re-connection with my artist self.

Hatch mentor and artist George Tillianakis (l) working with Kay (r) on the development of video art work with artists from Sunnyfield's Parramatta Day Option Program. The work celebrates everyone's personal connections and stories about the city of Parramatta. Photo: Liam Benson

Via the fellowship I have further developed my creative relationship with Sunnyfield Disability Organization working closely with Gaye Fleming, Sunnyfield’s Arts, Community and Culture Officer in the development and delivery of two major strategic programs—HATCH mentoring program and UnBardTV, Australia’s first television platform dedicated to Arts and Disability.

With the support of the Fellowship in late 2013 I completed a Final Cut Pro training course which gave me practical, hands-on knowledge about this editing software, and the confidence to use it for both my solo practice and for works that I make in the Arts and Disability sector.

After completing the course I subsequently shot, directed and edited a short dance film for Sunnyfield’s Frenchs Forest Day Option Program. Completed in December last year, UnBardTV produced a documentary that was dedicated to the project and one of the artists that I worked with. The documentary called Bart will screen on Foxtel’s Aurora Channel in late May and will reach over 12,000 viewers.

In 2013 I was selected as the NSW artist for Dance Sites Network. It sees three peak dance bodies—Critical Path, STRUT and Dancehouse—provide a platform for the development and interstate engagement of three new works by artists from each respective organisation.

My solo work 100th Monkey is under construction and my activities via my Fellowship has directly fed into the work’s evolution. I am currently attending regular M+B/Bodyweather training with Victoria Hunt and utilising the image-based sensory input to inform aspects of my solo work.

Snap shots of work-in-progress 100th Monkey, (Dance Sites, Critical Path, Sydney) Photo: Martin Fox

After two informal presentations with audiences in both Perth and Sydney, 100th Monkey will be presented as part of Dance Sites in Melbourne in August.  The work will have been influenced by the experiences and new skill sets that have been afforded by my Fellowship. 

The various areas of interest that I have been able to investigate across the year, such as, person centered processes, editing for dance film and image based body training, will not only enlarge my current projects but will ultimately fatten my artistic choices, expand my vision and inspire future creative projects.

Thank you Ausdance!

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Lina Limosani awarded 2015 Dame Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship

An original member of Garry Stewart's Australian Dance Theatre (ADT), Lina as been a choreographer since 2000. Her recent work, A Delicate Situation, was shortlisted for the 2015 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Contribution to Independent Dance. Lina will use her Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship honing her theatrical devising practices including her approach to constructing narrative and characters and working with the voice, particularly techniques for warm-up, projection, endurance and dynamic range.