Documentary featuring Dance Journalists

Posted on June 7, 2013 by Sam Fox

Zeb Parkes is a radical film maker from WA. He covers a huge amount of activism and has shot this documentary of the National Refugee Rights Convergence. The film gives a detailed account of the Australian detention system and features the Dance Journalists in the final action.

and here is an article by Curtin journalism student Jessica Ibacache who accompanied us on the Dance Journalism trip.

at Hydra we’re incorporating a parent body to look after us and other orphan production houses. It will be an organisation based on open-source principles and non-ownership of work it produces.


forget the idealisation of interdisciplinary collaborations (for a moment). Consider if we are truly compatible… discussions and companion pieces planned.

This interview with Hadi was conducted at the camp of the National Refugee Rights Convergence. The choreography and dance accompanying is by Isabella Stone.

Huge thankyou to our media partners who are helping distribute these reports of the Australian Mandatory Detention system. Below are the partners who elected to be publicised. We salute you all! To become a partner for future reports goto this page and fill out the form.

You are here Festival – Canberra, Tarryn Gill,  Alvin Tan, Rosemary Candelario, Ashlee Barton, Ursula Dawkins, Rachel Arianne Ogle, Leigh Robb, Toyi-Toyi Theatre, A Workshop, Jess Watson-Galbraith, Katya Shevtsov, Mixed Media, Masters Of Nothing

photo: Alex Bainbridge, featuring Sam Fox

Activist Sarah Ross from the Refugee Rights Action Network visits with refugees inside Yongah Hill every week (but was stopped from visiting this week due to ‘operational reasons’). She describe to us what the centre is like visiting inside detention.

Dancers: Laura Boynes, Deborah Robertson, Gabriela Green, Jess Lewis, Daniella Olea, Tarryn Gill, Jule Japhet Chiari, Isabella Stone, Carly Armstrong, Sete Tele, Musicians:Tristen Parr, Chris Cobilis, Technicians and camera ops: Chris McCormick, Neil Berrick, Benjamin Forster

Dance Journalist, Gabriela Green, photo: Alex Bainbridge

Editorial Statement, Dance Journalism
We are in Northam at the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre in regional Western Australia. For approximately 14 years, Australian politics has fixated on immigration policies. We are in an era where the treatment of refugees has become a central battleground of our electoral democracy.

Activists, advocates and journalists were not permitted to visit with refugees over the three day National Refugee Rights Convergence at Yongah Hill Detention Centre 90km from Perth.

A contingent of 18 people – dancers, journalists, technicians and curators, made the journey to the centre, interviewing refugees, advocates, activists, and mental health professionals working inside detention.

First dispatches from Dance Journalism

Posted on April 28, 2013 by Sam Fox

Visual dispatches from the major protest yesterday, Saturday 27 April. We saw massive over-policing. The refugees were denied visits due to ‘operational reasons’, and the convergence was denied access even to the carpark. However, we heard chanting from inside the detention centre despite the distance and via a phone call to an organiser we heard messages of thanks from the refugees of Yongah Hill.

Dance Journalism

Posted on April 4, 2013 by Sam Fox

- a group dance action facilitated by Hydra Poesis. The project features dancers and journalists based in Perth, Western Australia, supported by an international media network drawn for the dance and art world.

Dance Journalism responds to ongoing developments in citizen media, the broadening definitions of journalism*, and the growing tactics and vocabulary of social and political movements.

Principle Vs Corps

Posted on April 3, 2013 by Sam Fox

If Wikileaks helped revitalise narratives by revealing behind-the-scenes dialogues of power, has it – as a phenomena and an organisation, now (or over the course of the last two years) slipped back into the known, dominant narrative structure as the drama of its principle and figurehead eclipses the stories WL exists to distribute?

Marie Colvin

Posted on November 19, 2012 by Sam Fox

Journalist and war correspondent Marie Colvin died this February in Syria, refusing to leave the rebel city of Homs in the face of a major offensive by Bashar Assad’s forces. Here we light a metaphorical candle to Marie, acknowledging that much art and politics is dependent on people like her.

It has been suggested by a French colleague who left Homs days before Marie’s death, that the attack on the media centre was expected and deliberate.* Considering Marie had lost an eye many years before in Sri Lanka where she believed she was explicitly targeted as a journalist, this couldn’t have seemed unlikely to her.

Martin Hansen

Posted on by Sam Fox

Martin is an Australian dancer/artist/choreographer based in Berlin. In 2010 Martin worked intensively with Hydra to create Personal Political Physical Challenge with choreographic collaborators Rachel Arianne Ogle and Sam Fox. It was bitter that he couldn’t bring the work back to his home town of Melbourne with us this year because he was performing in Tino Sehgal’s performance that takes place almost entirely in darkness(video) at Documenta XIII. 

Enfolded experience

Posted on November 1, 2012 by Sam Fox

Triangle I (SF) made as a simple didactic tool expressing  the popular ideals many of us are trying to enact that subvert the traditional arts engagement pyramid… Fold bottom up to the middle and the top down etc. If you can do the basic mental origami – you get a trapezoid.

A Libretto

Posted on by Sam Fox


The Theatre Board folks at the Australia Council for the Arts have supported our desire to research and begin work on an ‘interdisciplinary libretto’ for Wikileaks the Ballet. We will be working with artists living in regions particular to Wikileaks cables. More info on collaborators to follow. But needless to say the team will be aiming to defy all expectations that the title elicits and bring a militant inquiry (action orientated, personal, political, multifaceted local-global) to the phenomenon.

Part 1 take 2

Posted on by Sam Fox

More work on IMAGO STATE these last two weeks ‘tween Paul Selwyn Norton and Sam Fox. The duo have been trying to capture the fear inducing character of gross change in movement for starters and other media to follow. Though some writing was done and it was pretty good.

video stills featuring sam fox.

For our last weekend in Melbourne with Personal Political Physical Challenge we are going to have an open conversation facilitated by Malthouse Theatre’s resident dramaturge Van Badham with Sam Fox (Hydra director), members of the cast, and anyone who wants to join, ask difficult questions or listen in.

We will talk about some of the motivations and characteristics of PPPC, particularly looking at hybrid work, the need for difference in our cultural context and the importance of breaking down or carefully mistreating form in contemporary performance.

Tickets are on sale for shows at The Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne this August. Click here to book your tickets!

A couple try to reignite the fire through radicalising exercises in their garage, drawing obscure occupiers to their alternative suburban melodrama.


THANKYOU Dear Supporters

Posted on by Sam Fox

Personal Political Physical Challenge is up and running at Malthouse Theatre and thanks to our supporters we have been able to push the production value to where it needs to be!    And it really means a lot to have so much generosity directed to our work. Thankyou dear supporters.

Fiona de Garis
Dave Primmer
Lex Randolph
Cecelia Cmielewski
Katya Shevstov
Genevieve Abbey
Francis & Daryl Barr Kumarakulasinghe
Michelle O’Brien
Anything Is Valid Dance Theatre
Brendan McCallum
Daisy Sanders
Laura Boynes
Jennifer Leys
Deborah Robertson
Joanna Pollitt
Jarred Dewey
Laura Jane Lowther
Paula Lay
Michael Gall
Casey Helmore
Elle Evangelista
Brooke Leeder
Helen Crain-Welsby
Quindell Orton
James McIntosh
Fiacre Mulhall
Cole Leather
Paul Blackman
Kynan Hughes
Jackie and Graeme McIntosh
Amanda Alderson
Josh Mu
Nudein Narkose
Shannon Langley
Nikolas Patterson
Tomas Ford
Sarah Rowbottam
Patrice Newall
Alan Guest
Bonnie Tessa Davies
Benjamin Forster
Jason Mckenzie
Daine Stern
Hannah Fox
Dave Miller
Margo Donaldson
Aimee Smith
James Petch
Adriane Daff
Francis Sullivan
Sammie Williams
Karl Matacz
Alexis Mian
Alice Lee Holland
Cathy Bowditch
and to those of you who ticked ‘Anonymous’ too

Rachel Ogle and James Welsby in performance at Malthouse Theatre

Get your tickets!

Posted on by Sam Fox

It’s time to get your tickets here for Personal Political Physical Challenge at the Malthouse Theatre – Melbourne. Shows run Tuesday to Saturday for this week and next (shows remain 13-25 August). Militant ballet, suburban melodrama, truth challenges… Don’t miss it.

Below is a mysterious still from the theatre. Because we don’t want too give much away.

Gross Movement

Posted on August 9, 2012 by Renae Coles

The team are working hard over in Melbourne at the Malthouse Theatre! Dress rehearsals all day today with the show opening on Saturday night. Some images and notes director Sam Fox has sent through from afar…

gross movement, as in big, clear, explicit, with-a-single-uncomplicated-potentially-reductionist-intent, dance aesthetics in rehearsal…

testing physics in the theatre – James Welsby and Rachel Ogle

working with light in Personal Political Physical Challenge with Bluebottle lighting designers.

Ballet is so — right now

Posted on July 27, 2012 by Sam Fox

We made some new badges… because ballet is so exciting right now. For those of you who didn’t study ballet history, the form’s first patron and self made star was Louis the XIV aka the Sun King. His total decadence was the climax of the baroque and pretty much led to the starving masses who enacted the first installment of French Revolution – storming the Bastille, guillotines etc.

Godard & the middle class

Posted on July 23, 2012 by Sam Fox

Jean Luc Godard’s film Weekend is over the top, melodramatic, hyper politicised and farcical. It is also incredibly smart, funny, violent, horrifying, authentic, radical and revolutionary. The protagonists are backstabbing, nihilistic, upwardly aspirational middle class villains*. And this portrayal is so good because the middle class is never in a solid state of middleness.

Thoughts on Thomas Jefferson

Posted on by James Welsby

Thomas Jefferson has a presence in PPPC as a reference to American democracy, freedom, and the separation of church and state. His character is a complex one; much of his outward politics was sharply contrasted by his personal actions.


Labour begins.

Posted on July 20, 2012 by Sam Fox

Dancers do labour and art at the same time. The exploration of ideas almost inevitably becomes an act of hardcore physical work. And harsh discipline and self critique are often  present.  Seeking labour, self inflicted hardship, for very little or no material gain, within a cultural world with big hierarchies at play… these things are dance.