Sandra Parker is a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist based in Melbourne.

Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti

Throughout her career she has created works for theatres, galleries and alternate sites and spaces in Australia and internationally. Recent projects include ‘Adherence’, Iwaki Auditorium, ABC, Melbourne (choreography, sound); ‘All Day and All Night’, Sarah Scout Presents, 2018 (gallery installation - video, text, sound, movement), and ‘Small Details’, Dancehouse, Dance Massive, 2017 (full-length choreographic work). In late 2019 Sandra undertook a residency at the Cité international des Arts, Paris, funded by the Australia Council for the Arts.

The project

Choreographer and interdisciplinary artist Sandra Parker will investigate a new trajectory in her practice: performance installation. The project, titled 'ROOM CHOREOGRAPHY', aims to deeply understand, underpin and sustain new works in sites other than traditional theatres. Parker will undertake a series of creative explorations, underpinned by research into themes of space, site and labour. The project will establish new materials to form the basis of a major performance exhibition in 2021 – 2022.

What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?

Over time, sustaining a practice can be difficult. The Creator’s Fund grant means I can bring a team together with resources and create the conditions to dig into ideas with depth and focus. As my practice requires studio space, having the resources for space is extremely important to the evolution of the work. This Creator’s Fund grant will mean that I can properly resource time working on the floor in the studio and also be able to financially remunerate my collaborators too. Often performers are called upon to work for nicks and in this instance I won’t be asking favours.

How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?

Time is everything. And can I add space to this too? I recently undertook an international residency and for the first few weeks, I struggled to give myself permission to take the time to play and explore ideas, rather than feeling the pressure to produce something immediately. Finally, I had the time and it felt foreign! The overwhelming sense that product is the ultimate goal, not just in the creative process, but in our time poor way of living, means that often new creative ideas don’t have any time or space to emerge. I came away from that residency determined to carve out more time to play. To simply spend time to allow things to emerge.

What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?

Continuing from the question above, I am most looking forward to what will emerge, given the time the grant affords for new things to arise. I’m excited, and of course on the flip side, a little bit apprehensive about what I will, or will not, in the end produce. I am hoping, and I am certain, that new things will arise I haven’t even imagined yet and the investment will be rewarding.

Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?

I imagine that I will have some solid threads to follow in terms of new project ideas. What comes with that is the confidence to call on others to support projects in the years ahead, for new presentations to be planned and realised. I am always concerned to try to support my collaborators and the artists I work with and hope that along with new opportunities they will benefit as well, and in turn our work together. Dance, physical and durational practices have the potential to offer the viewer something beyond material objects: the potential to quietly (or loudly!) provoke felt change in an embodied sense, the potential of life beyond capitalist and material value.


I: @sandrajparker

F: Sandra Parker Dance