Deep Soulful Sweats is a collaborative and participatory event led by dance artists Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen, founded on the Winter Solstice with Natalie Abbott and Janine Proost 2013. The project has seen many incarnations, from stripped back movement focused events for 40-60 participants to creating large-scale spectacles for upward of 300 participants diverse in age and experience. Deep Soulful Sweats is participatory contemporary art, its exercise, its community creating. Ecstatic and inclusive, it's a joyful, surprising and exhilarating experience for anyone and everyone.
Together Rebecca and Sarah have a long history of creating experimental choreography and performance in theatres, galleries, community, film, music & site responsive contexts. Their work has been described as formally reckless, slipping between codified forms and unbridled invention. Their freeform maximalist style has no rules, amassing multiple images in a torrent of references, satirical, sincere, absurd and unapologetic.
"Both of these works [OVERWORLD and Underworld] were remarkable for whole-heartedly embracing a radically feminist methodology just as a new wave of feminism was resurging in pop culture.
Today, they seem definitional, capstone works of the emerging generation of Australian choreographers that has supplanted years of po-faced abstract minimalism”
Jana Perkovic The Age 2019
Since 2010 Rebecca and Sarah have produced world-class, experimental choreography, presented in Canada, Italy, France, New Zealand and more locally at Arts Centre Melbourne, Dance Massive, MPavilion, Keir Choreographic Awards, Melbourne Knowledge Week, Next Wave, Dark MOFO, Brisbane Festival and Castlemaine State Festival.
Deep Soulful Sweats has been presented extensively around the country and has grown a loyal following for its shape-shifting events, encouraging people from all walks of life to step out of their thinking mind and into their bodies. Events can be tailored to fit a range of contexts, ages, spaces and budgets. From a wholesome adventurous kids show to adventurous 18+, town halls to stadiums or a full family affair in the park.
Facilitated by a rotating combination of choreographer’s dancers and DJ’s, you are divided into your elements based on your star signs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). In the thick of an unfolding choreography, ritual, rave, contemporary dance class, DSS incrementally and exponentially encourages participants to let go and exorcise through exercise.
DSS Leaders include: Natalie Abbott, James Andrews, Faasu Afoa-Purcell, Annabelle Balharry, Kelly Beneforti, Lydia Connolly-Hiatt, Rachel Coulson, Sheridan Gerrard, Angela Goh, Hillary Goldsmith, Harrison Hall, Amrita Hepi, Nash Hurly, Zahra Killeen-Chance, Madeline Krenek, Claire Leske, Milo Love, Rennie MacDougal, Ashleigh McLellan, Janine Proost, Emily Ranford, Emma Riches, Emily Robinson, Carly Sheppard, Oonagh Slater, Frankie Snowdon, Luigi Vescio, Bella Waru, Timothy Walsh, Geoffrey Watson
Images Keelen O'Hehir, Equinox, Castlemaine State Festival 2019