Phoenix Functions is committed to that THE WORLD IS DANCING. The World is Dancing is about the building of contemporary dance groups for all the fantastic benefits of dance in every community including the transformative possibilities of dance for individuals, communities and culture. Why? So that in dance an authentic conversation occurs in the body and with the body, and culture of peace shows up. See Dance as Transformative Practice and drop by the Facebook Page
An aspiration of Owen is to see Dance as a contribution to the numerous issues that require transformation in society.
Owen's particular interests are in two areas which seem to be associated with the male cultural attitudes, and which a cultural change such as men dancing as normal, may make a significant contribution:
It's all about the work. Since 2014, Owen has a vision that "The World is Dancing, The World is at Peace". To make that a reality, the goal is to see 1,000 new community dance groups, especially in rural communities, have developed through the training of dance facilitators, by 2029. The training program would be accessible for anyone with some experience with 'body work' eg actors and directors, yoga teachers, physiotherapists, dance and drama teeachers. That program is now in its final construction as rEvolve - turning, transforming, evolving.
Owen has been dancing since 2011. You can see some of these earlier projects in the archive sections, below. Owen found himself finding an access into dance through playful and creative approaches to explicit and implicit work. In his 50s, Owen has found that his own capacity and performance has improved by bringing into the work combinations of movement science, movement and embodied awareness, spatial play, and creative design. The processes he learnt for himself, and from which he is still finding improvement in physicality, performance and design, and that provided him with an access to personal transformative experience, is one he is now ready to share with a larger world of dance facilitators.
In 2016, Owen, with Theatre Maker, Sue Hayes and 5 other rural men, produced a physical theatre performance The Forging of Men, using the rEvolve model. In 2017, Owen performed a 5 minute solo version at the BOLD Festival
In 2017, Owen formed a group called BEAUTIFUL CHAOS. Beautiful Chaos performed for the welcome event of the 14th National Rural Health Conference in collaboration with the Biddigal (now Miriki) Performing Arts, and ARC Drummers, in May 2017. The second performance of Beautiful Chaos was called The Dream of Fishes for the Bicentennial of the Birth of Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i Faith, in October 2017.
Owen met Sarah Leversee of Art as Action, Boulder, Colorado, during a trip to the USA in 2014. Intrigued by their multi-genre,collaborative and inclusive work, Owen returned to Boulder in July 2015 to attend a few events of the company over a week, to observe how the small non-profit achieved its artistic and business outcomes.
The events included a small summer concert to which Owen performed a short 3 minute theatrical portrait.
Owen also attended Art as Action's 'Reconnect" Class, for all comers, based on Dance for Parkinson's Disease; and the performance team' review of their creative work on the theme, 'Tension'.
The 2015 DANscieNCE was held during National Science Week in August, at QUT Kelvin Grove Campus.
Owen's submission to the National Rural Health Conference succeeded in the showcasing of mature aged dance in May 2015. In collaboration with David McMicken and the Grey Panthers of the Tracks Dance Company of Darwin, Australia, a moving multi-genre performance depicted the challenges of the rural lives of 6 older women. Documentation of the performance and presentation of "Darwin by Dance" and other aspects of the Conference is HERE
The Train and Other Fantasies was a simple dance with children audience participation at the 2012 Tableland Folk Festival, Children's Festival. See Made2Move, below.
Made2Move was a facilitation model of contemporary dance class developed by Owen and a contemporary dancer team including Jess Jones, Rebecca Youdel, Sarah Collins and Miriam Torzillo to develop mature aged dance groups in the FNQ region. See also Dance
Contemporary dance for everyone run through 2012 to 2015 as a series of workshops. The inaugural workshops were funded by the Tableland Regional Council RADF Grants culminating in the performance called 'Trains and Other Fantasies' as above.
Further workshop series have seen the participation of elderly people, middle aged people, young adults, people with parkinson's disease, blindness, severe arthritis, stroke.
This dance was performed by courageous audience members at a Nepalese earthquake fundraiser of Friends of the Himalaya Children. Designed by Owen, the audience members volunteered on the spot and were taught the dance in 10 minutes. It is a testament to the possibilities for dance as a cultural moray