Independent Dance Artist - Performer, Choreographer & Educator
Courtney Scheu is an independent dance artist – performer, choreographer and educator. Scheu is completing Gaga Teacher Training with Ohad Naharin, Batsheva Dance Company (Tel Aviv) supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust. In 2019, Scheu collaborated with Itamar Freed as AIRIE – Artist in Residence in Everglades within the UNESCO World Heritage Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Scheu was recently an Artist in Residence in the Crows Nest, Sunshine Coast through RADF Sunshine Coast and Arts Queensland. She presented new a contemporary dance work created in collaboration with Freed in Supercell Dance Festival Brisbane 2020, Horizon Festival Homegrown 2020 and Tempo Dance Festival 2020. In London, Scheu presented work in the Emerge Festival 2017 by C-12 Dance Theatre and Resolution 2018 at The Place. Scheu is committed to contributing to conversations of dance, education and the cultural landscape of Australia.
Plastic Belly is a contemporary dance work on film by Sunshine Coast-based choreographer Courtney Scheu and visual artist Itamar Freed, created with the support of dramaturge Liesel Zink.
Set to an original sound score by Harel Tsemah, and filmed on the beautiful secluded beach at Third Bay in Coolum, Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi country, Australia, this work is both visually captivating and deeply sensitive to the current times.
Two women emerge into the unknown; their fantasies and fears personified by the shape-shifting, ephemeral belly of a blue, plastic tarpaulin. At times the material is all consuming, covering bodies, at other times, it moves in harmony with the dancers as they support each other to navigate the new terrain.
Plastic Belly explores human connection, at a point in history when this topic is more relevant than ever. Recent experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic have traversed the emotional and mental impact of isolation, the fear of the unknown, and a deep desire for connection.
Plastic Belly will explore the artists’ lived experience of this extraordinary time, navigating the boundaries of a new future and capturing the ever-present tension between the desire for intimacy and the primal need for self-protection. In amongst the overwhelm of the media during this time, the calming pace of this work provides an important reflective space for audiences to consider human connection, our relationship to nature and to unfamiliar situations.
Born in 1987 in New York City, works and lives in London, UK. He has an MA in photography from the Royal College of Art, London 2018. He is the 2016 recipient of the Clore Bezalel Scholarship for an MA at the RCA valued over 70,000 GBP. Freed received his BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design 2012. Freed was selected to exhibit in the prestigious BEERS London Summer Marathon and will present a solo exhibition in 2020. Freed also won the first place prize for the EPSON Award for Excellence in Photography 2012. Freed showcased at Museum of London, Christie’s Auction House and Grosvenor House, London, Pulse Miami, Volta New York, Nordart 2018, Germany, and Haifa Museum for Art. His work resides in private and public collections worldwide – the JP Morgan chase art collection, Estee Lauder, Lauren and Mitchell Presser Photography Collection and American Embassies collection.