Wednesday, February 22, 2012

an elaborate dance

baby dance

This was the title of talk Saskia, Jan-Ma & I went to see last Friday at the National Portrait Gallery given by an amazing lady, Sally Chance, on the cultural lives of babies.

Chance is a dance artist who has been looking at how little ones (up to 18 months) create culture and identity using dance. Her two year fellowship with the Australia Council resulted in a production, This [Baby] Life, which I think would be an amazing experience. For both mamas/carers and babies. Especially babies.

The audience: a small number of carers sit on the floor with their babies. Opening scene: a musician makes gentle, playful sounds using a variety of instruments and two dancers begin choreographed movement. As the babies become more confident and comfortable in their surroundings, they may gradually start to venture out to explore the dancers and their surroundings. From here the show is in the hands of the babies as the dancers, respectfully, 'match' their movements and expressions, and each baby 'experiences being experienced', being delighted in.

This [Baby] Life featured in the Adelaide Come Out Festival, and from what I gather, will travel this year. Has anyone seen this? If so, I'd love to hear more about it.

It was a lovely, gentle reminder that toys and gadgets are fun, but what they really want is you. To delight in them.

The mother-infant interaction...seemed to be an elaborate dance, choreographed by nature.
Daniel Stern

Ps. I borrowed this book from the library and ordered this one. Let me know if you've read either.


  1. What a great experience. The books you're looking at sound interesting. I haven't read either but would love to know how you find them.

    P.S Hope you didn't mind me sharing your photo on yesterday's post - I'd always loved that snapshot of yours :)

  2. That all sounds wonderful. And that photo is gorgeous!!

  3. Just discovered your blog and thought I'd pop in and say hello. We have a little bit in common. My name is Claire, I too live in Canberra and am a new(ish) mumma to a 12 month old baby boy. Looking forward to being a regular visitor to this lovely space. Happy weekend - the weather's gorgeous. Claire

    1. Thanks for popping in, Claire! We're pretty lucky in this town to have such lovely parks and beautiful institutions to enjoy with our little ones, hey? Hope you have a lovely long weekend x

  4. Awesome outfit. I can't to get Josephine into her little summer bloomers xx