2011 – 2014 Last updated: 24 Jul, 2015

VicHealth's MOTION program focused on creative community interventions which increased physical activity and social connection.

It's all about improving people's health by giving them opportunities to get creative, physically active and involved in their local community through the arts. 

VicHealth has a longstanding commitment to supporting Victorians to get actively involved in the arts and MOTION was an exciting program that continued to build on this commitment.

The projects were designed to inspire people who may not usually see that they could get involved in physical activity to join in by providing fun, welcoming arts activity that brought people together to connect and have fun. VicHealth wants more people to be physically active throughout their lives and these projects could be just the motivation to help people on that journey.

To support this vision, the MOTION projects had a stronger focus on strengthening partnerships, policy and models of arts practice that had the capacity to continue into the future.

Art Pumping Action

Art Pumping Action

The Village Festival

Art Pumping Action is an initiative that invites young artists and inventors from local communities to collaborate on the design and creation of unique, moving sculptures.

The brief is to build a piece that will be on show at a Village Festival in their area, and that will move under pedal power. 

Members of the festival audience are then asked to climb into the saddle and pedal to generate the power used to animate the artworks, as well as games, lighting, cinema, dance parties and a projector to inspire their fellow festival-goers to get moving. 

The Village Festival is a series of festivals that spring up in parks and gardens and invite locals for a night of food, art, and entertainment. The program changes and could include works of theatre, cabaret, puppetry, circus, spoken word and more.

Find out more at the Village Festival website.

Small boy plays on equipment with Art of Play

Art of Play

Women's Circus

Public spaces become an interactive circus without a tent as part of Art of Play, a Women’s Circus project making appearances across western Melbourne.

Playgrounds, malls, parks and other everyday places transformed and young children and their families invited to join fun and circus activities.

Theatre and circus artists lead creative and imaginative play and activities including trampolining, walking the slack line, juggling balls and more.

The project aims to reinvigorate public spaces in new ways, and create opportunities to bring people together to play, have fun, be active and connect.

The Art of Play is a collaboration between the Women's Circus and primary schools, community organisations, playgroups, libraries and culturally diverse and refugee communities. Events are to be staged between now and Easter 2014.

The Women’s Circus is an award-winning arts organisation that works closely with communities to build sustainable cross-art form projects through cultural partnerships.

Watch the video below or visit the Women's Circus website for more information.

Image: Tara Prowse

The Alice Project

The Alice Project

Ausdance Victoria

The Alice Project is a major dance event based on the themes and characters of Alice in Wonderland, which is designed to get regional Victorians moving.

The story and characters from Alice in Wonderland will be used to encourage participants to join in, move and dance in their local communities.

The program will include free dance story time sessions for two to five-year-olds and their carers/parents in local libraries with games and activities based on Alice and her crazy adventures.

There will be dance and crazy headwear at hatter’s tea parties for all ages. And installations of 2,500 footsteps will appear on local footpaths and encourage participants to follow in giant steps, zigzags and wide legged walks.

Watch the video below or find out more at the Ausdance Victoria website.

The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect

Arts Access Victoria

The Ripple Effect is an Arts Access Victoria initiative that aims to create new opportunities that lead to young deaf people discovering dance. 

The project comprises workshops for young deaf people and their teachers. The sessions are inspired and led by deaf artists, and invite young deaf people to come together in their local communities to build skills, share stories and connect through dance, drama and physical arts. 

Workshops for their dance and drama teachers teach them how to be inclusive of deaf people in their classes and provide more regular opportunities for young deaf people to dance.

Watch the video below or visit the Arts Access Victoria website.

Dance Republic

Dance Republic

Big West Festival

Dance Republic fused traditional, urban and social dance in workshops and performances in western Melbourne, and encouraged the public to participate.

Community members were invited to mass dance rehearsals and workshops to experience, learn and help create intercultural, urban and social dance sequences. The results were performed at five local festival events in the west, at which audiences were invited to join in and learn the steps. Elders from five indigenous dance groups taught mentorees and locals traditional dances including:

  • IDJA (Australian indigenous)
  • Toi Haka (Maori)
  • Bindaas (classical Indian and Bollywood)
  • Dombai (South Sudanese)
  • Chin Karen dance

Underpinning the idea for Dance Republic is the local dance groups’ commitment to sustaining, showcasing and sharing traditional cultures in their area.

The Giant Theremin – City of Melbourne

A super-sized instrument controlled by movement rather than conventional touch. The theremin’s distinctive warble accompanied an array of distinctive sounds which made it impossible to resist running, dancing, jumping and forming unusual shapes in the activation zone to create a symphony of movement.

Tangle – Polyglot Theatre

An interactive outdoor play-space where children and families used the physical action of weaving elastic with their whole bodies to build a massive, touchable artwork. The web was facilitated by artists and fuelled by live music to encourage physical movement, artistic decision-making, imaginative play and dramatic interaction.

Dance with Me – Latrobe City Council

A short and easy dance routine that represented the diversity, pride and aspirations of the community was taught to lead dancers and community groups, who then danced in surprise performances in public places. Dance workshops and performances were filmed and projected on public buildings across the Valley.

52 Flashmobs in 52 Weeks – Nillumbik Shire Council

A series of ‘spontaneous’ community events that got people physically active. Promoted through social media, they included dance routines, a car washing mob and gardening gangs – offering fun and creative activities for people of all ages, interests and abilities.

Crowd Play – Melbourne Fringe Festival

A key feature of the 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Crowd Play promoted the benefits of participatory arts in a healthy lifestyle. Rehearsals took place in offices, community halls, pubs, clubs and bedrooms around Australia and culminated in three public performances in public sites around Melbourne.

Roll Up – The Squeaky Wheel

A VIP bike valet service providing cyclists with free, secure and convenient parking when attending festivals and events. Roll Up is available for hire by businesses, councils and community groups, and is ideal for event coordinators who are looking to target a cultural and socially conscious market.

Atelier Edens – Aphids

Fever Beach uses GPS technology, cinematic chapters and an original sound score to enliven interactions between visitors and the landscape of Point Nepean National Park. As users roam through digital hotspots within the park they can trigger a series of wild, unexpected adventures, heightening their experience of the wilderness they are moving through.