About

PHOTO: Kate Holmes

Emma Saunders has been described as a “formidable” (Realtime, 2010) Australian dance artist who works as a dancer, choreographer, director, educator and curator. She graduated with a BA in Dance and Grad Dip Ed (Dance/Drama) from the University of Western Sydney (1996). She is interested in the simplicity of dance and the complexity of choreography. Utilising a visceral, instinctive attack, her work is immediate, often working with humour, everyday movement, text, repetition, deconstruction, duration and abstraction.

Emma is a co-founding member of the award-winning Sydney based trio, The Fondue Set, alongside Jane McKernan and Elizabeth Ryan, who have created 10 full length works including Green Room Award-winning No Success Like Failure presented at the Sydney Opera House (2008) and Dance Massive, Arts House (2009). The Fondue Set have also performed in the Melbourne International Arts Festival (The Bar, 2008) and Sydney Festival First Night (The Hoofer, 2010).

Emma was the inaugural Dance Curator at Campbelltown Arts Centre (2008 – 2012), where she curated over 40 new dance projects that examine community, location, exchange, culture, age and the interdisciplinary nature of making dance work. In 2015, Emma created two new large scale outdoor site specific dance projects, The Bankstown Dancing Project, commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects for Sydney Festival 2015, and The Austinmer Dancing Project 1.1.18, which has had over 15,000 hits on youtube. For 2018/19 Emma was an Associate Artist for NORPA, Lismore. Emma continues to develop her new work, Dancing With Myself, examining where her solo and group dance practices can intersect. Recently, Emma has been commissioned by FORM Dance Projects to develop a new outdoor dance work, Encounter, which will have its world premiere January 10-12 as part of SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2020. Encounter has a cast of 16 young dancers from Western Sydney and FLING Physical Theatre and is performed with a 50 piece live orchestra (WSYO)!!!

What people say

Emma was our Artist in Residence, exploring her new work Dancing with Myself. It is always a joy to watch Emma bravely exploring her work!

NORPA, Lismore

Dizzyingly intoxicating, intoxicatingly dizzy, they make me want to put on red lipstick and dance. In high heels. And a frock. Where can I get some shiny red boots?

Laura Ginters, RealTime

Infusing and confusing, Emma Saunders has more than energy than a four-year-old on red cordial.

Eve Jeffrey, Echo Net Daily


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