2007 recipient of the Kenneth Myer Medallion for Outstanding and Distinguished Contribution to the Performing Arts, Helen Herbertson has been crafting performance for over three decades in intimate non-theatre venues, traditional theatrical settings, large-scale outdoor sites, and for theatre and opera performances, educational projects and touring programs. "My work has focused on the dynamic flow between people and place—the interaction of body and landscape or situation—interior life with light, form, place—person and place. The approach fuses an expressive, physical language with a detailed exploration of the performance site, emphasizing the integration of lighting and design while working collaboratively, from inception with performers and creative teams."
Herbertson’s choreographic work has received multiple Green Room Award Nominations, resulting in awards for Best Production, Original Choreography, Direction, Outstanding Creative Collaboration, and the 2003 Australian Dance Award for Independent Dance. Individual Awards include Australia/NZ Choreographic Courses (1972/2000), Australian Bicentennial Scholarship (1988), residency at The Paris Studio, Cite International des Arts (1994), Fellowship, Dance Fund, Australia Council (1997/98) and an Asialink Residency in Singapore (2000).
Helen Herbertson has been active in the development of Australian dance, dancers and choreographers through a variety of advisory and leadership roles including as Artistic Director, Danceworks (89-97), Artistic Director, Dancehouse (2001-03), Member of the Board of Green Mill Dance Project, Committee of Management—Moriarty’s Project, Member (1997), Deputy Chair of the Dance Fund, Australia Council (1998), member of course advisory groups, assessment panels, examiner (Masters and PhD), and Lecturer/Coordinator Graduate Dance Programs—School of Performing Arts, Faculty of VCA & Music, University of Melbourne (2005-).
A sought-after performance coach and mentor Herbertson's touring work regularly presents in festivals (Melbourne, Adelaide, Singapore, Zurich, Paris, Dublin, Glasgow, Tokyo, Portland). [Text courtesy of the artist.]
works by helen herbertson
helen herbertson: the place where things slip
philipa rothfield, realtime 36, april-may, 2000
the search for intelligence and charisma
wendy lasica, realtime 56, august-september, 2003
articles/reviews: other works by helen herbertson
outside outward display: tradition and the derivative
eleanor brickhill, realtime 19, june-july, 1997
as obvious and forgettable as gravity
eleanor brickhill, realtime 14, august-september, 2010
Thumbnail: Helen Herbertson, Delirium, photo Jeff Busby