Collective Residency: Italy!

Collective Residency: Italy!    



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The proposed Remnant Dance Residency, Culaccini, seeks to develop site-specific dance movement in response to the waters of Val Tallegio. The intention is to respond to the natural Enna river system of the Valley, as well as the process of bottling water in the San Pellegrino plant, through documenting dances made in these locations via film, photography and reflective writing. The results will be shared on a weblog during the process, and in a research paper at the close of the residency.

We believe the language of the body is visceral, and every nuanced gesture a response to our environment.  Furthermore, as Judith Butler has noted, “I don’t think we can just decontextualize gestures and movement. The question is how it is contextualised” (2016, p. 1). Our proposed site-specific, collaborative endeavour has the capacity to develop critical relationships in and between communities of people and the environment, and in this art-making, tell us something about the world we make up. We leave our marks on each other and on things we have made, like the traces of a water vessel: ‘culaccini’. We will immerse ourselves in the waters of the Orrido della Val Taleggio and at the source of bottling the mineral water at San Pellegrino Terme, creating short dances in response to our first encounters with both urban and rural water systems.

During the residency, we will document our initial movement experiences via video and photography to illustrate and explore human connection to water in this unique environment. Our journey of water-dance discovery will be uploaded in a blog to the Remnant Dance website, and shared through our social media platforms. Dance made in this context can be loosely constructed to invite interpretation through the use of symbolism and metaphor. As Umberto Eco has written, the “search for suggestivenessis a deliberate move to “open” the work to the free response of the addressee” (1989, p. 9), which we seek to achieve through the language of dance.

Towards the end of the residency, these site-specific experiences will be represented in an interactive PDF Research Paper, which will incorporate scholarly text with some of the reflective blog entries and representations of dialogic encounters through aural, visual and poetic forms. In this way, the artwork, and the workof the artwork (Bolt, 2007, p. 33), produced through the residency may find (a) voice resonant in the re-telling. The spaces within and between the academic text of the Research Paper, combined with the self-reflexive blogs, images and film of the Culaccini Residency will thus mirror the experiences of making (and marking) dance, in response to waters of the region.


Since our establishment in 2010, Remnant Dance has generated a body of interdisciplinary art work, devised through cross-cultural collaborations distinctive for engagement with social and cultural environs. As members of this part-time professional dance theatre collective, we juggle artistic practice with the many demands of our personal lives. To prioritise our creative practice, the core collective members decided to commit to one international residency in 2018, in order to reconnect with each other, and what we do, as a collective. Our interests as artists, dancers and choreographers are deeply intuitive and physical, and as a result we are interested in connecting with nature, in a location far from the familiar environment of our sunny, dry and hot Australian land. The NAHR Summer Residency will give us the opportunity to respond to water systems, both natural and made. This is a particularly pertinent theme for us, as we seek to commit time to refresh our lives and practice, and drink deeply of one of nature’s most nourishing elements: water. 

As Australians living in Perth, Western Australia, we often feel geographically isolated from a wider global dance-making community and believe the rich complexity of an Italian Residency an ideal antidote for artistic isolation. We also work quickly on site-specific projects, having developed short dance works in China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Australia, in response to environments and people groups. At this stage of our collective practice, we believe our professional experiences will enable genuine depth of response to Val Taleggio, resulting in the production of site-specific dance, in response to the waters of the region. We seek not only to renew our own practice, but to leave our own mark in the region: a water stain, culaccino, traces of something encountered, experienced, and created in gratitude for a moment of time spent in residence.

THANK YOU . . . 

We are most grateful to the NAHR Committee for choosing to invest in our creative practice, and gladly accept the invitation to spend time creating new artistic dance works in the waters of the Italian Valley. For more information on the Nature, Art & Habitat Residencies, visit the website:


Bolt, B. (2007). The Magic is in Handling. In E. Barrett & B. Bolt (Eds.), Practice as research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry. London, United Kingdom: I.B. Tauris.

Butler, J. (2016). Trump is emancipating unbridled hatred. Zeit Online. Retrieved from

Eco, U. (1989). The Open Work(A. Cancogni, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.