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Contributor profile: Zsuzsanna (Zsuzsi) Soboslay

Zsuzsanna Soboslay Zsuzsanna Soboslay
photo Tim Moore

I am a performer, writer and artist who has been engaged in creative collaborations across the arts for over 20 years. I teach and research in the tertiary, pre-school and community (including mixed ability) arts sectors, and write and create performances on the themes of environment, ecology, and the experience of refugees. I specialise in collaborative work across disciplines and have held residencies at Bundanon, ACT Early Childhood schools, the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra Dance Theatre and in September I participated in the Kultour Gathering in Brisbane. Recent public performances include: National Gallery of Australia (a dance-biography of Jane Avril), CSIRO DANscienCE Week, Floating Land in the Noosa Biosphere.

Two current projects, Welcome/Unwelcome and Anthems and Angels are process-oriented performance/installations combining archival materials with real-time acoustic and electronic interactions, transforming fragments of sound, movement, and oral histories that constitute the memories of people in transition (from one country to another, into parenting, illness or ageing). Collaborators include Timothy Constable (Synergy Percussion), Kimmo Vennonen (sound), Franki Sparke (animations) and film-maker Michael K Chin (Tokyo Love-In).;


I think art is a process of listening to something that is there, trying to become known. Essentially I think a critique is part of the same continuum—engaged in a process of deep listening to an experience that needs telling, seeing or performing.

Writing uncovers things I sense but around which I may not yet have a framework. The best performance works ignite sensations that reconfigure, or re-ignite, who or where I am in the world, and I find it almost a relief to write in order to understand what I have just witnessed unfold.

Works that fulfill themselves can be a delicate pleasure to discuss: works that are on the way can be more arduous, but equally demanding of full-blooded honesty.

Sometimes I feel my role is to hear the big voice of the small animal, particularly if it’s still struggling to make itself heard. I don’t’ always feel respected for that. I’ve tried to give up reviewing, but always the sense of honouring something that needs to be witnessed wins the day and I come back to it, again and again.

The best responses I’ve had to my reviews [whether on art, dance, theatre or music] have been ‘it’s just like I’m there alongside you’. With that kind of feedback, I feel I’ve fulfilled my role.

Selected articles

Opera: individual passion, collective tragedy
Zsuzsanna Soboslay: Sandra France, Helen Nourse, From a Black Sky

Lives surviving disarray
Zsuzsanna Soboslay: Urban Theatre Projects, Catalogue of DreamsRealTime issue #117 Oct-Nov 2013 p31

Sharing country
Zsuzsanna Soboslay: QL2’s Quantum Leap, Hit the Floor Together
RealTime issue #117 Oct-Nov 2013 p22

Asleep but awake and dancing
Zsuzsanna Sobolsay: QL2 Dance Theatre, Noplace
RealTime issue #110 Aug-Sept 2012 web

RealTime issue #0 pg. web

© Zsuzsanna Soboslay; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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