Sarah Bleasdale is a freelance dance and performance artist,  originally born in New Zealand. After Graduating with a Bachelor of Political Science and Religious Studies with Honours, Sarah began her professional dance career. She initially trained and worked as a commercial dancer in New Zealand, before discovering the world of contemporary dance. While completing a Contemporary Dance Degree at the UNITEC in Auckland, New Zealand, Sarah also began her foray into choreography. Her graduation work ‘A Hint of Starch’ was invited to be performed at the Tapac Auckland Dance Festival the following year. Directly after graduating, Sarah moved to Melbourne, Australia, to work with Cie. Tim Podesta (PROJECTion Dance) throughout 2009. In Australia Sarah also completed several independent projects, created her first solo work in progress, and began to study and perform instant compositions. Sarah moved to Belgium in 2010, and has spent the last 4 years between New Zealand, Australia and Europe where she has been working for international choreographers, making work in collaboration with others, and training/performing extensively in improvisation. Most recently she has been dancing for SOIT Cie. Hans Van den Broeck (BEL)  and Cie. Antonia Baehr (GER). In 2013 Sarah worked with the 20 For Brussels Collective:Young Choreographers under the direction of Marie Martinez (FR) where she co-choreographed and performed ‘Goodeve’  throughout Brussels in 2013/14. Sarah  most recently created the Burlesque persona ‘Miss Phoenix Rising’ and has been performing at evenings in Brussels.  Sarah has also worked with Samuel Lefeurve (FR/BEL), Dani Brown/Finger Six (GER/USA), and Renan Martins De Oliveira (BRZ/BEL) amongst others.



In my first development period of SMIRK I wanted to shine a spotlight on a multi-faceted internal conversation that one woman experiences. I wanted to hint at the juxtaposition I often see between personal, private desire, and the stereotypical ‘public face’ of sexuality. I began to approach this subject matter from what I saw as a more intimate, female perspective, and I began to look at the layers of desire, conformity, rules and emotions that come into play when one attempts a sexual identity today.

In present day society I see a potential duality or even conflict between our desire to express our sexuality as we wish, and in contrast what we are taught by the media is sexy, and the social pressures we encounter to conform to certain ideas of what is ‘sexual’.

In this development period I want to further examine this potential dialogue/conflict by referring to previously unrealised possibilities that can occur within a  singular female body. I also want to look at how these differing layers can crescendo into a ‘pressure-cooker’ type situation as we sift though all of this information to find authenticity.

I want to examine the aftermath of this pressure-cooker, and what lies underneath.