Dancehouse stands on what always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We pay our respects to the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, to their Elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

Dance (Lens)

Dance (Lens) Festival 13-31 July 2023


Dancehouse’s biennial festival of dance on screen returns from 13-31 from July with 37 screendance works screened at Dancehouse and digitally on demand. The festival also includes live and online talks, and four workshops for screendance makers.

The 2023 Dance (Lens) Festival is curated by three screendance artists and curators: Siobhan Murphy (Vic), Feras Shaheen (NSW) and international renowned guest curator Gitta Wigro (UK). The curators program the festival from a National callout, including the ‘Official Selection’ of recent local Australian screendance works.

The Dance (Lens) Official Selection program features a variety of dance on screen works including a home-grown spaghetti western, an exploration of cataclysm from expert Bharatnatyam performer Anandavalli, an interspecies collage of dancing human-worm chimeras, a surreal and whimsical animation about parklife during COVID lockdowns, and an extended music-video clip celebrating Jamaican dancehall.

18 Australian artists are featured in the Dance (Lens) Official Selection, including: Amber McCartney, Anna White, Azzam Mohamed, Claire Esterman,Claire Marshall, Cobie Orger, Erin O’Rourke, Harrison Ritchie-Jones, Iqbal Barkat, Jude Walton, Karen Berger, Peter Fraser, Prue Lang, Rachel Owens, Rob Aspinall, Sarah Aiken, Teresa Blake, and Thuy Vy.

In addition to the Official Selection program, each of the Dance (Lens) 2023 curators have created a session of influential screendance works around a different curatorial theme. Feras Shaheen sees dance as a tool of unification in Out of Line. Water, paint, dust, fabric, sand, grass and debris are explored in Siobhan Murphy’s Material Moves, and international guest curator Gitta Wigro (UK) invites us to ‘observe what you hear’ in Sound Into Sight.

For makers attending the opening week of Dance (Lens), Cobie Orger and Siobhan Murphy offer four workshops to build skills and strategies to create screendance works. Dance and film artists are welcome and workshops are for all experience levels.

A Dance (Lens) Festival Pass grants access to all 7 screening sessions as well as the full festival On Demand through Vimeo.

Dance (Lens) Festival in 2023 is supported by the Besen Family foundation.

Thursday 13 July

6:30pm – 
Official Selection #1
7:30pm – 
Material Moves curated by Siobhan Murphy

Friday 14 July
6:30pm – 
Official Selection #2
7:30pm – 
Sound Into Sight curated by Gitta Wigro

Saturday 15 July
6.30pm – 
Official Selection #3
7.30pm – 
Out of Line curated by Feras Shaheen
8.30pm – 
Special Screening: Graveyard Riddim & Dance (Lens) Closing Party

Dance (Lens) Workshops
Four workshops by Siobhan Murphy and Cobie Orger

Dance (Lens) 2022

In winter 2022, Dance (Lens) Festival returned to Dancehouse.

Dancehouse hosted a weekend taster of Dance (Lens) from 26—27 November 2022 including: screendance workshops for all experience-levels, with Siobhan Murphy and Cobie Orger, and a special IN FOCUS screening with David Rosetsky.


Dance (Lens) Festival 2021


The Dance (Lens) Festival showcased over 30 outstanding international and national screendance works curated by André Shannon, Melissa Ramos and Siobhan Murphy.

Dance (Lens) ran On Demand from 29 July—29 August 2021 and screened LIVE at Dancehouse over one weekend (19—21 November). Live movie marathon program >>

2021 Official Selection:
Program #1 >>
Program #2 >>
Program #1 >>

2021 Curated Program:
Being Seen: Screendance Portraits program curated by Siobhan Murphy >>
The House These Films Built program curated by André Shannon >>
Formscapes program curated by Melissa Ramos >>


Talks, extras and bonus features >>

Dance (Lens) Festival 2020


The 2020 Dance (Lens) series highlighted outstanding Dance Films from Australia and internationally with artist Q&As. Streamed live and On Demand during Covid-19 lockdowns, Dance (Lens) explored the embodiment and disembodiment of dance, speculative stages, screening history and the communal dance of watching from the other side of the screen.


Talks, extras and bonus features >>

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