James Welsby: HEX



























The piece involves three Generation Y contemporary dance artists traversing the arc of the HIV/ AIDS crisis (circa 1981 – 1996) to better understand contemporary issues of health, identity, community, and history.


This project aims to combine contemporary dance with queer performance languages; HEX takes queer performance out of the nightclubs and places it within a contemporary arts forum that can critically engage with the work’s themes whilst remaining accessible for non-arts audiences.


The work embraces humour, reverence and intense sorrow, in a series of intimate, choreographed vignettes. These vignettes seek to provide the audience with an experience of both celebration and reflection as the show depicts evolving club-dance styles that coincide with the timeline of the Western HIV/AIDS epidemic.



James Welsby: HEX

Next Wave Festival

Fortyfive Downstairs
6 - 11 May 2014


Choreograper: James Welsby

Performers: Chafia Brooks, Benjamin Hancock, James Welsby

Sound: Claudio Tocco

Lighting & Set Design: Rose Connors Dance

Stage Manager: Anastasia Ryan

Costume: Bryn Meredith

Research assistant: Dion Kagan

Associate Producers at Next Wave: Kristy Ayre & Kyle Kremerskothen



“Not leaving a moment unconsidered, Hex had the audience transfixed. The choreography was as hypnotic as it was intelligent and the dancers moved it beautifully”


★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Leonard Miller Toorak Times May 9 2014


“HEX is a powerful work that looks at the AIDS crisis from a generation away, and explores its legacy and impact.”

Hex review: the Aids crisis revisited through dance

★ ★ ★ ★ 

Jane Howard The Gaurdian May 8 2014


“Hex explores the pain and struggle of fighting against adversity. It is also a joyful celebration of what it means to be free.”


★ ★ ★ ★ 

Mark Brandi Arts Hub May 12 2014


“Welsby, a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, made a handful of full-length works before Hex, but none have resonated as well. Hex is an enormous step up and forward, and a sign of his promise as a dancemaker.” 

James Welsby – Hex (part of Next Wave Festival) – Melbourne

Jordan Beth Vincent Dance Tabs May 15 2014



Images: Gregory Lorenzutti & Alice Hutchison


Images: Gregory Lorenzutti

James Welsby



James Welsby is a dancer and performance maker who is interested in the camp, visceral, and gritty. He graduated from the VCA School of Dance in 2007, and since 2008 has worked independently and as co-director of Phantom Limbs.

His most celebrated work is ‘HEX’ which was part of Next Wave Festival 2014, and will be part of the 2014 International AIDS Conference. He has also choreographed for Lucy Guerin Inc (P4SS), Menagerie Collective (The Riot Hustle) Sisters Grimm (The Sovereign Wife – Neon at MTC), Zoe Coombs Marr (DAVE), and Zoey Dawson (Romeo and Juliet), Next Wave (Private Dances 2010), and for musicians LE1F, Clairy Browne, Cakes Da Killa, and Joni in the Moon. In 2010 James was a ReelDance International Dance on Screen Festival finalist, and winner of their ‘Encouragement Award,’ and in 2011 was an ArtStart and Ian Potter Cultural Trust recipient. 

Saint Sebastian

Rehearsal Images

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