Katrina Rank

Katrina trained at The Australian Ballet School and performed with The Dancers Company, the Victorian State Opera and Northern Ballet Theatre (UK). In 1994 she was awarded a Bachelor of Education in Dance and Drama and has worked extensively in community dance. In 1996 she began her PhD research involving untrained dancers in the study of narrative applications in dance performance, and was awarded her doctorate in 2000. Katrina was a Caroline Plummer Fellow of Otago University, New Zealand in 2007, and in 2009 was artist in residence at Darebin, delivering a dance-film YoursTruly, an installation project for dancers with disabilities.
In her role at Ausdance Victoria, Katrina designs and delivers specialist education and training programs, resources which offer professional development opportunities for teachers, students and trainers.



Choreographic treatment of personal movement vocabulary in community dance practice

The field of community dance literature is an emergent one, with very little written about the processes and ethical issues experienced in the dance class, workshops or stage. This paper explores problems identified during the development of a new community contemporary dance work, My Body is an Etching. The work began with a creative concept, endeavouring to collaborate with participants in the creation of a dance solo that was personal and discretely individual in the performance of everyday actions, yet accessible to people from all walks of life. The processes involved the identification of deeply etched or embodied actions and the development of these actions within a choreographed score.

This paper discusses the creative exploration of the concept (that human bodies are etched by their experiences), within the context of community dance and the issues that arise when working with such a concept amongst a community of individuals. It reveals the creative methods for the identification and retrieval of individual movement and the conceptual difficulties encountered when individual uniqueness is absorbed within a work for the masses. It asks what happens when a participant’s everyday or personal movement is reproduced for reasons outside its regular context and examines notions of ownership and the negotiation of power and control. The paper reveals ethical issues in the treatment of others’ movement, and refers to the literature of psychology and phenomenology in aligning the creative enquiry with an intellectual force that is interested in forms of memory and retrieval beyond the episodic.

Embodied histories of contemporary dance

Dr Katrina Rank discusses the role of memory, narrative and individual perception in relation to a live dance performance called Marvellous, which was a synthesis of five separate works she choreographed in 2000.