About (2011)

After Viewing


Pose questions that remind them of their experience. Expand on this by identifying some of the main ideas, then selecting and clarifying information from the students’ responses.

  • Name and identify the order in which we see each wind.
  • Describe identifiable features of each wind including: colour, movement motifs, movement quality, accompaniement.
  • Compare similarities and differences between the four winds of the Torres Strait and the conventional western calendar of the seasons.
  • What could each colour connotate about the personality and role of each wind?
  • What could be the significance of the choreographer taking on the role of the ‘human presence’? The movements of the ‘human presence’ contrast in the beginning and end sections. What could this signify?

Collect, compare and categorise facts and opinions focusing on: Movement Aspects, Non-movement Aspects, and Societies and Cultures

Movement aspects:
In the dance, the characteristics of the winds are explored and interpreted through movement. These movements depict qualities like calmness and delicacy, power and aggression, serenity and playfulness. For each wind, analyse the depiction of these qualities by asking students to:

  • Describe the way the choreographer has used space, time and dynamics.
  • Identify, describe and analyse reocurring movements.
  • Discuss the ways the dancers interact with each other through spatial placements, gaze, partner work and solo work.
  • Describe the movements of the ensemble versus the soloist. In what way does the ensemble support the soloist? Draw the spatial relationships in this section.
  • Analyse the structure (choreographic devices) of this section.

Non-movement aspects:

  • Describe the stage & set including the colour of the background, floor, props and the lighting (colour, brightness, point/s of focus) in each section.
  • Describe the features of the soundtrack in each section. What instruments are used? What do they sound like? What language is the voice-over speaking? What are some key aspects of this text?
  • What might the use of smoke haze represent? Which sections/winds is this theatrical element predominantly used and how?
  • How would you describe the costumes of the dancers in each section? Why do some dancers wear identical costumes, whilst others have distinct features? What is the source/s of the design for these costumes?


Societies and cultures:
The production of About tells of the four winds of the Torres Strait.

  • Why might the choreographer have chosen to develop a work based on her cultural connection and continuing curiosity about the four winds?
  • From the sections you have viewed, discuss how Elma Kris has achieved this.
  • The performance is on a stage in a theatre. Is this a traditional or contemporary place for Torres Strait Islander people to dance?
  • What influence do the winds have on day to day life?

Based on Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Level 4 statements from the Critical and Creative Thinking Learning Continuum: Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas; Generating ideas, possibilities and actions; Reflecting on thinking and processes; and Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures areas. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia (CC BY NC SA) licence. Accessed April 2015.