From the Opaque , Fed Square, Melbourne | Image: Eelin Cheah

From the Opaque, Fed Square, Melbourne | Image: Eelin Cheah


 Janette is a Melbourne-based dance artist, performance maker and collaborator. Her practice is informed by somatic, movement-based improvisation practices with a focus evolving from the tradition of butoh.

Janette is interested in the body as a complex multisensory entity and its interactive relationship with its environment. She is known for her visually evocative place-responsive works across Australia (Occupy/Preoccupy 2014, Silenzio 2013) and South East Asia (White Moth 2014, Dua Wanita 2015). Her performances invite audiences into landscapes where fragments of memory, lived experiences and imagination meet.

Her choreographic approach is fundamentally influenced by an ‘attunement’ to the body’s senses and environment. Working from a process of structured dance improvisation, structural elements in architecture (such as abandoned buildings) and nature are framing devices for movement scores.

Living in Australia with roots from a Malaysian-Chinese/Indonesian ancestry has instigated vigorous cultural discourse and inspired her work. Aligned to this idea is the mobile body in transient space. Themes that often emerge in her work include ‘sense of place’, ‘home’ and ‘loss’.

Recent highlights include performing as part of National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Melbourne Now’ (The Colour of Silence 2014), Melbourne’s ‘Light in Winter’ festival and the Castlemaine State Festival (Under a Willow – a Long Way from China 2017), and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (tonglen* 2013). Dance Australia Critics Survey nominated Janette Dancer to Watch for her works No Candles Please 2006 and moths are calling 2014.

An Australian Postgraduate Award recipient, Janette completed a practice-led Masters by Research project in 2016 – investigating embodied histories, triggered by place, in dance improvisation. Her exegesis, Performer as Medium: Connecting Past and Present in Improvisation can be downloaded here.