#47: Kelvin Robertson


16 December 2019

For nearly twenty years (1987 – 2006), visual artist Kelvin Robertson worked from the balcony of Studios 2/3 in Pier 4 The Wharf, sketching the dancers of Sydney Dance Company in his graceful, energetic style. At the invitation of Graeme Murphy, Robertson resided in the upper reaches of the space, producing many of the works that would later feature in his exhibitions and studies of the dancers’ form.

In the words of dance writer Valerie Lawson, Robertson “found his niche; his economical style shows an understanding of the dancer, both in technique and artistry. In a few lines, or cut-out shapes, he captures the spiral of their shoulder joints, the stretchy, flexi-extension of their legs and the long columns of their necks.”

“I had a wonderful time working at Sydney Dance Company in the way I did and it lead to me working with The Australian Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Parsons Dance Company and a number of other younger companies in a similar way.” – Kelvin Robertson

Robertson’s works are held in several collections around the world, and adorn the walls of many of the subjects’ and ex-dancers’ homes. A collection of Robertson’s Sydney Dance Company portraits was published in 2007 by Frost Design, aptly titled Choreographics.

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