Journal article

Ecological combustion: the atmospherics of the bushfire as choreography

Rachel Fensham

Ambiances: International Journal of Sensory Environment, Architecture and Urban Space | Direction Générale des Patrimoines, Ambiances Architectures Urbanités (AAU) | Published : 2020


This paper examines the atmospheres generated by the elemental power of bushfires as embodiment, invention and reconstruction through choreography. Drawing upon Bachelard’s analysis of the phenomenology of fire leads to an appreciation of its substance and symbolic volatility, that is interlaced with an understanding of fire’s place in the Australian environment from both settler and indigenous perspectives. The close examination of several dances, that use different expressive vocabularies and structures, provides a means to access the experience of fire as an affect and a moving vital force in expressive formations that record real historical events and their impact. The atmosphere becomes..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers