#40: Our Time/ And All that Jazz / Adagio Duo


18 March 2023

In the 1960s, society was being transformed against a backdrop of momentous events throughout Australia and the world: the Civil Rights movements, the Vietnam War, the 1967 referendum.  There was a palpable drive for choreographers, composers, filmmakers and writers to make new art that reflected the times: an energy that saw choreographer Robina Beard create three works for the fledging Sydney Dance Company (then called Athletes and Dancers Company): Our TimeAnd All That Jazz and Adagio Duo. “When I was doing musical theatre, I went to a class by Ronne Arnold and my mind was opened to contemporary dance and the freedom it gave us. I stopped wanting to be a ballerina, and dye my hair black and wear it in a bun, and just started to dance from inside out.” The achievement seems monumental now – creating the second, third and fourth works for what would be a vital Australian company, establishing a strong voice for female choreographers from its outset – but for Beard it was pure pleasure. “I wasn’t into making a CV then, I was just thrilled to be working with young dancers on a piece that felt new.”

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