Sue Healey is a Sydney-based choreographer, educator, filmmaker and installation artist. She was awarded the prestigious Australia Council Award for Dance in 2021.
Recent work includes Circumstance 2020, a film with Sydney Dance Company PPY's, premiered in December; Live Action Relay performed in LIVEWORKS Festival, Sydney (Oct) and On View: Panorama the major new work which was created and toured in Japan (Kinosaki, Yokohama and Nagoya) before the COVID lockdown.
Sue was a 2019 Fishers Ghost Award Finalist, 65th Blake prize finalist 2018, Digital Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery Australia 2017 finalist (portrait of Eileen Kramer). She created 2 major public art commissions in 2017; En Route for Wynscreen and City as Portrait Gallery exhibited at the Customshouse, Sydney. She has won 6 Australian Dance Awards for Dance on Film/New Media and for Independent Dance. In 2018 Sue won a Hong Kong Dance Award for On View: Hong Kong (Best Visual Design).
Originally from New Zealand, Sue graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, before becoming a founding member of Nanette Hassall’s Dance Works in Melbourne. Sue performed and choreographed with this company from 1983-88, and then continued her training in New York with Merce Cunningham School and Trisha Brown Company. Returning to Australia she became Artistic Director of Vis-à-Vis Dance Canberra (1993-96) and a commissioned independent artist (1996-present). Her work has toured to USA, UK and Asia.
Sue gained her Masters Degree in Choreography (2000) from Melbourne University and was awarded a Dance Board Choreographic Fellowship from the Australia Council 1999/2000 and the Robert Helpmann Scholarship (Arts NSW) for 2009/10.
Sue received the prestigious Creative Fellowship in 2013-14 from the Australia Council for Arts, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.
Sue led an international Screendance workshop – New Works Forum: Screendance, produced by West Kowloon Cultural District in 2015 and Taiwan 2016, and 2017 and continues this collaboration into 2016-19 to create On View: Panorama, a major international work in collaboration with artists in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, produced by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and Aichi Arts Centre. The first stage of this project On View: Hong Kong was performed and exhibited at Artistree, Hong Kong in November 2017. The next iteration of this work On View: Panorama was created in Japan in Jan 2020 and performed in Kinosaki, Yokohama and Nagoya. Because of COVID 19 the work was unable to continue to tour to Sydney and Hong Kong. In light of this a final new work On View: Panoramic Suite has been created with local dancers only, and will be presented at the Sydney Town Hall in July and in the Freespace theatre, West Kowloon precinct in 2021.
Based in Sydney, since 2000 she has created 4 major collections of works: Niche series (2002-04), In Time series (2005-07), Curiosities series (2008-12) and On View series (2013 - present). These encompass over 55 works across live performance, dance film, gallery installations and international collaborations. They have won awards nationally and internationally and the major works from each series have been presented by Sydney Opera House and have toured to Melbourne, Canberra, New Zealand and Japan.
Experimenting with form and perception, Healey creates dance for diverse spaces: theatres, galleries and the screen. Her films have been finalists in major international film festivals and have been broadcast by Australian and European television networks. Healey is an acknowledged pioneer of dance on screen. Her films are widely acclaimed and have won many awards, screening in over 30 countries. She has created 10 major films with cinematographer Judd Overton, her key film collaborator, including the feature length film, Virtuosi (2012), screened in New York, Montreal, Amsterdam, Prague, Portugal, Berlin, Hobart, Auckland Arts Festival, DocEdge festival Wellington, American Dance Festival and many other international festivals in 2013/14. The film won an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film 2013 and a Silver ACS award for cinematographer Judd Overton. Her documentary The Golds, about a company of dancers aged 55-90 years in Canberra, screened in New York at Dance on Camera Festival, Lincoln Centre in 2016 and won Best Film, Diamond Award at International Performing Arts and Movie Awards, Indonesia in 2015.
She has won 6 Australian Dance Awards for Dance on Film/New Media and for Independent Dance.
Her new series On View has been presented around Australia:
- On View: Quintet toured to Dance Massive Festival in Melbourne, March 2015
- On View: Benjamin Hancock - Gertrude St Projection Festival, Melbourne 2016.
- The major work On View: Live Portraits was presented by the Performance Space at Carriageworks, Sydney in 2015, in conjunction with the installation On View: Icons – Dame Lucette Aldous and Professor Shirley McKechnie.
- On View installations toured to Toowoomba Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie Glasshouse Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Arts – Cairns and Brenda May Gallery Sydney, 2016.
Recent commissions include:
Narrabeen and On the Edge - commissions by Sydney Dance Company to create short films for the Pre professional year dancers 2018 and 2019.
En Route, a 30 minute film and major public art project for the new 22m screen at Wynyard station Sydney. Exhibited DEC 2016/ JAN 2017.
City as Portrait Gallery – a 12 minute film, a major commission by City of Sydney for the BE. Live the City exhibition at Customshouse Sydney. Exhibited MARCH-JULY 2017.
Garden Party Remix - a 5 screen installation for Lets Dance, Redfern March 2017.
The Seasons Retouched choreography for the New Zealand Dance Company “Kiss the Sky” season June 2017, with the Blackbird Ensemble playing live.
Header image and photos from Perks and Mini fashion shoot 2013
Photographer: Justin Ridler
Photographer: Justin Ridler