A New Dance Work by Courtney Scheu

Article by Cassandra Ramsay @cassramsay

Courtney Scheu, a Brisbane-based emerging dance artist, is showcasing her work Breathing Dirt at Crack Theatre Festival this year.

Collaborating with dancers Michael Smith and Chloe Lanham, Courtney has choreographed Breathing Dirt driven by her interest in relationships within the context of the Australian culture.

breathing dirt

The work was inspired by the novels of Tim Winton, especially his 1991 novel Cloudstreet.

“What draws me to Winton’s work is how he presents something that is familiar in a way that you discover it all over again” muses Courtney.

“Winton’s works are heart-wrenchingly honest, raw and raucous. In reading his works I am captivated by the rich Australian symbolism, rollercoaster storylines and loveable characters.”

By taking Breathing Dirt to Crack Theatre Festival, Courtney hopes to gain some feedback on the nature of relationships inside the ebb and flow of daily life that she has explored in the work, and the Australian voice that comes with it.

“I am interested in the potential of the body to encourage an audience to question their perspective” she says.

I want the audience to be tossed into a world that causes them to inhale at the unexpected, hold their breath through the beautiful, shift in their sear at the uncomfortable.”

Courtney completed her Honours in Choreography at QUT in 2012, and has worked consistently in the dance industry before and after her graduation, including presenting works for QL2’s On Course, 2High Festival Brisbane, the Brisbane Dance Industry Night, Brisbane Fringe Festival and Brisbane Emerging Art Festival.

Courtney’s exhaustive body of work doesn’t quite finish there; she was also selected to perform with Tami Dance Company in the improvisation work PeepDance in the Brisbane Festival 2011 and the Architecture Biennale 2012 (Venice) on a travel scholarship from QUT.