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Dancer Matt Shilcock on Residency in Helsinki, Finland

Feb 15, 2018

Dancer Matt Shilcock is currently undertaking an Australia Council residency in HIAP, Helsinki . We caught up with him on his way to Finland to ask about his practice and how it might evolve during his time at HIAP.

My dance practice, Osteogenuine, is about moving and engaging with the world of injury, staying authentic and nurturing to the (injured) state of the body, but still achieving the desired outcomes.

Image: Matt Shilcock

I live with osteogenesis imperfect (brittle bones), which provides me with plenty of injuries to draw on and inform my practice. I combine holistic healing modalities with structured techniques and improvised dance scores to generate movement that is comfortable and authentic to my body. The long term goal is to create a sharable scoring system and methodology from Osteogenuine, whilst creating performance work. My current performance project is a triptych of works exploring Eugenics.

Of all the international residencies on offer from the Australia Council, HIAP seemed the best fit for my work style, the structure of the residency is quite malleable, allowing me the flexibility to structure my work around what ever unforeseeable challenges my health might spring on me. The receptiveness of local Finnish artists and companies I contacted and their shared interest in my work and topics of exploration also contributed to the decision to apply.

Image: Tom Jones

While in Finland, I hope to begin development the second work in my eugenics triptych, Invalid:Dated. After contacting Helsinki based dance organisation Kaaos Company, I have been invited to host a lab/creative exploration of some choreographic exercises I have been developing. This will result in a collaboration with two local companies and a performance at dance festival: X Dance.

Since being accepted to the residency, I have had extended invitations to connect with other companies and artists. I am most looking forward to the adventure of going to new places and connecting with new people.