Jacqui Dreessens, from Wild Moves International, led a fabulously fun interpretive dance and movement workshop in conjunction with her live dance and video performance titled Echelons (2021) at the Mangroves from the Water exhibition. During the official opening day on Saturday 14 Aug, the participants followed her instructions to feel inspired by nature and mangroves to experience, interpret and become at one with nature.
Unfortunately a few participants had to remain in lockdown, but do spot out very own curator Zahidah busting some cool moves!
It’s with great pleasure that we are able to share these images with you from our official opening on Saturday 14 August 2021.
Thanks to the Gordon Gallery, the City of Greater Geelong, Sharjah Institute of Heritage, , the Barwon Estuary Project and Humans of Geelong for their support in realising this show.
The opening began with a Welcome to Wadawurrung Country by Elder Nikki McKenzie, supported by Norm Stanley on the didgeridoo; a ceremony we all acknowledged as befitting the themes and depth of our project and our regard for the mangrove landscape.
We were honoured that Libby Coker MP officially opened the event and we’re grateful for her important words and interest in our project.
Curator Zahidah Zeytoun Millie acknowledged the support of our partners and introduced the work of our 13 artists, all focused on raising awareness of the beauty and importance of mangroves.
To Peter Martin, thank you for presenting the opening oration so eloquently.
The afternoon gave our 50 visitors (we were restricted by Covid 19!) a fascinating range of perspectives that included a human element in addition to the multi media artwork. Choreographic artist Jacqui Dreessens performed a sensorial interpretation of mangroves in dance with video, and Richard Collopy presented a passionate talk on a traditional owner’s perspective of mangroves. Viewers were enthralled by the depth of thought and detail presented in the multi media Mangroves from the Art exhibition.
We are very grateful to everyone who came out to support us, especially during this difficult time with lockdowns. We were sad to miss a few of the artists not being able to attend – some stuck locally (Nicola Cerini and Kerrie Taylor), and some abroad (Geraldine Chansard in Belgium, Stephanie Neville in the UAE and Alexis Gambis in France).
Credit for all images goes to photographer Phil Hines. Our thanks to MC Daniel Zeytoun Millie.
It is always interesting to know how artists/performers derive at their final works. We thank Jacqui for giving us a glimpse into her creative process, translating the inspiration from the natural mangrove environment by using images and words and ultimately transforming it into a physical dance performance.
Writing poetry about the Ecology of Place is vital for Jacqui’s dance making process. To begin to describe her sense of place, Jacqui uses verbs, adverbs, adjectives and alliteration.
This helps to unpack her experience from being in and amongst the mangroves while floating in a kayak. These words become the launching pad for movement improvisations in the dance studio.
Jacqui develops the bodily shapes and movement transitions based on the mangroves, expressing her sensory experiences and memories through the physical bodily form.
For more information, please do visit and follow her on: