the biographies

State of Flux Biography

State of Flux is a Melbourne dance company that has been teaching and performing for 5 years. 'Flux' incorporates a variety of dance/physical theatre modalities into their work. Their current focus is an evolving blend of Contact Improvisation (a style which originated in New York 25 years ago) and other improvisational dance and performance techniques. The sources of movement in a released and aware body are an important base for their work. They are one of the first dance companies in Australia to incorporate one dancer with a physical disability.

All members of the company regularly teach and perform in State of Flux projects.

They have taught at Rusden, Melbourne University and the Victorian College of the Arts, as well as in their own regular classes. They have taught for Ausdance in Adelaide and Melbourne. They have hosted a weekly contact 'jam' for 4 years and have built a vigorous community around contact and other improv dance forms. They have been instrumental in creating the now well established monthly showcase for Melbourne's dance improvisors called 'Conundrum', which has run continuously for 4 years. They are regular performers there.

They performed during the Green Mill Festival and the Melbourne Fringe in 1997. Also in Adelaide as part of the High Beam Festival in 1998 and at the Canberra Choreographic 1998, 99 and 2000 (all in addition to their regular Melbourne performances). In 2000, they are the recipients of an Australia Council grant to bring Nancy Stark Smith, renowned dancer/teacher from the USA to Australia for a development project with the company, which will culminate in a performance. The project also comprises public workshops, to allow the Australian dance community to benefit from Nancy Stark Smith's teaching.

Their style of performance is intimate, risk taking, dynamic and unpredictable. They live on the edge often surprising even themselves. Their work has been called subversive.

With their mixed ability emphasis, they challenge norms and stereotypes about who is a typical dancer and what their capabilities might be. One of the dancers is in a wheelchair. In 1996, with funding from the Australia Council two dancers (Janice Florence and Wendy Smith) spent time working with CanDoCo world famous integrated dance company in the UK. They have taught a series for Arts Access working with a group of dancers with and without physical disabilities in preparation for workshops taught by CanDoCo during their Australian tour. This project has lead to a new integrated dance troupe called 'Weave Movement Theatre' and 'Flux' continues their involvement in a guiding role.

The members are Martin Hughes, Wendy Smith and Janice Florence, Jacob Lehrer and David Corbet.

Martin Hughes (email) is a dance graduate from Rusden. He has performed with dance, dance in education and street theatre companies in Europe, Asia and the USA and throughout Australia. He spent two years studying Contact Improvisation in the USA, funded by the Australia Council. He teaches at the VCA dance school and at Rusden.

Janice Florence (email) , Graduate Diploma of Movement & Dance, has pursued dance studies in Australia and the USA with Anna Halprin and Joan Skinner, among others. She has an extensive background in the Skinner Releasing Technique, other dance and improvisational forms, vocal work, acting and singing. Since an accident, which left her paraplegic, she is evolving a new kind of dance to fit with her altered physicality. She plays a leading role in 'Weave Movement Theatre.

Wendy Smith, (email) also Graduate Diploma of Movement and Dance, is broadly experienced in dance and street theatre. She is Australia's only qualified teacher of the Skinner Releasing Technique. She has studied extensively with Joan Skinner at the University of Washington Dance Department in Seattle She teaches at the VCA Dance School.

Jacob Lehrer (email) is a graduate of the VCA Dance course, regular performer with 'Strange Fruit', recently a dancer in Lloyd Newson's DV8 project at the Olympic Arts Festival and currently touring overseas with that company.

David Corbet, (email) dancer, street performer, composer and musician, member also of 'Twosuits', 'Bird on a Wire' and 'Linus'. He is the publisher and editor of <proximity>, a magazine devoted to dance and improvisation now in it's third year of publication.

Contact a State of FLUX

PO Box 6774
Melbourne, 8008
Victoria, Asutralia

ph: +63 (0)3 9534 1326


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