An Artist in Residence at Australian Dance Theatre in November-December 2019, Petra Szabo is a dance theatre artist who uses multiple forms to create work that has strong context and meaning. The forms used are dance, vocal work, text, science and live music. Petra especially enjoys the creative process, which changes from one project to the next – “My Mother’s Father’s Grandmother” (2019), being no different. This work explored ancestry and posed the question; if you don’t know who your mother’s father’s grandmother was, can you really understand yourself completely?
I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend in the Tanja Liedtke studio developing “My Mother’s Father’s Grandmother” with vocal artist Katerina Lebedev and dancer artists Baylee Meechan and Chloe Annalise Moir, as a continuation of the development which started at the Dance Hub SA’s Inaugural Young Artist Program (2019) which I was ever so lucky to be a part of. During the Australian Dance Theatre residency we spent two weeks further uncovering the vocal and movement language, creating text for the script and reflecting on the importance and stories related to our ancestry. I was excited to have Cayleigh Davies and Alison Currie as outside eyes to this process, who both greatly assisted in the direction of the work. The studio has a special place in my heart because of Tanja’s incredible legacy and it felt very wholesome to be creating a work so dear to my heart here. Thank you so much to the Tanja Liedtke Foundation and Australian Dance Theatre for creating these opportunities for local Independent Dancers, it makes all the difference to have space and time to create.
– Petra Szabo