Image of Nat Cursio and Shannon Bott by Rachel Roberts

There are two women
Natalie and Shannon
There were others
They are gone
This is what remains

Recovery is dance, ceremony, gathering and living


by Shannon Bott, Nat Cursio, Simon Ellis + collaborators
2-9 December 2014
The Substation


Image by Rachel Roberts

about the work

Recovery began six years ago following untimely deaths in each of our families. We initially sought to grab grief by the scruff of its neck and drag it into the now of performance. 

Six years on, following a slow-burn process, Recovery is a dance seeking to question and represent the edges of the human capacity to cope, to keep going, to suffer and to imagine that everything is or isn't OK. Recovery considers how we travel through life in an ‘aftermath’, gathering its audience to see two women coping and living. 

We are engaged in a delicate duel with time – between then, soon and now. Every time death comes to others, and we are spared, we can say “I am still here”, and in that stillness, here, we are dancing. 

                                           - Nat Cursio and Shannon Bott


Direction / Choreography / performance

Nat Cursio + Shannon Bott

Direction / Choreography

Simon Ellis


Ben Cobham - Bluebottle


Byron Scullin

Contributors to research phases

Pete Brundle, Fiona Bryant, Benjamin Cisterne, Paula Levis, Vanessa Chapple

Image by Rachel Roberts


Preview: Tuesday 2 December
Shows: Wednesday 3, Friday 5, Sunday 7, Monday 8, Tuesday 9 December
Time: 8.30pm 
At: The Substation, 1 Market St Newport (next to Newport train station) 
Dress: Please wear black
Tickets: $20 conc. $25 full. $40 with love (includes $15 donation)
All preview tix $20
Duration: 60 minutes no interval
Media Enquiries: Nat Cursio /  / 0434 927 721   

This show has a very limited seating capacity.
Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access.

Facebook event page

Online program and acknowledgements

Interview with Dance Informa 
Interview with Fjord Review 

Reviews / responses

“On a quiet Monday evening, Cursio and Bott offered forth a work, absent of sentimentality and decorativeness, about how loss affects every cell of the body, and what could be more disarming and delicate than that?... Reflected in the work’s steely resolve, Cursio and Bott have found a way to give movement to the loneliness of being left behind, the wrong feel of a body no longer warm by your side. Absence may hover over this piece, but it is coupled with the ever-present hum of life.”  Gracia Haby FJORD REVIEW 2014

“We sense the hopelessness of their turmoil, the vacancy of their survival, the agonizing banality of their waiting room. This is an impressive feat... Recovery does not dance with death. Instead, it dances through it, as a painful and heartfelt offering to the parts of ourselves that cannot ever be consoled for what has been experienced... An honour to have witnessed, Recovery is a touching heartsong to the enduring spirit of the living, a window into the nameless state of living death.” Nithya Iyer MELBOURNE.ARTS.FASHION 2014

Read all six perspectives on Recovery here (by Gracia Haby, Nithya Iyer, Laura Summers, Jordan Vincent, Fiona Bryant and Luke Hockley)

Image by Rachel Roberts

development history

Recovery had several small development periods; January 2009 at Arts House, Meat Market (funded by Arts Victoria, The Besen Family Foundation and City of Melbourne's Culture Lab program); July 2010 at Arts House Meat Market (funded by The Australia Council for the Arts and City of Melbourne's Culture Lab program); November 2011, Napier St Theatre (supported by the Besen Family Foundation); 2012 at Florence St Studio and 2014 at The Substation. 

This project has been supported by The Substation through their artist residency program.