I was born in Western Australia in a family of Mum & Dad and five boys. I began dance lessons around the age of six.
Why I began dance lessons is a mystery to me and to my family and friends as we cannot decide how this came about!
It is certainly an anomaly as this was 1962 Australia where boys did not do dance lessons. However, a dancing seed was planted and this remains a core element of my way of being in the world.
Dance has always been a joy for me, a place where I was accepted for my dance capabilities and passion to express my self in movement.
Commencing a professional dance career on television at the formative and impressionable age of 15 led me to finding out how I could be in different contexts and so I developed a curiosity about life and relationships.
Who can I be as the boy ... dancer ... child ... adult ...
performer ... worker ... son ...
brother ... lover ... homosexual?
All these roles asked for different ways of being while developing my own identity as a young man.
Despite my being bullied (because of my dancing) by other schoolchildren from ages eight to fifteen I continued being very happy to dance.
My personal and professional adventures have taken me to many places and some of the places in which I have danced, shared and explored personal and professional ways of being are:
Hong Kong Taipei Tokyo Hiroshima Kuala Lumpur Singapore Manila Djakarta Bangkok Perth Sydney Melbourne London
Los Angeles Las Vegas Milan Berlin Chiang Mai Oslo Cape Town Salvador Gawler Ilhabela Zagreb Korcula
Making choices, having choices taken away from me, giving choice away, coincidental happenings and accidental discoveries have all led me to this moment.
My professional dance career began in my teens by working on a children’s television variety show in Western Australia. I was a member of the Perth City Junior Ballet Company and did a season with Perth City Ballet. At sixteen I choreographed and performed as the tap dance soloist in Morton Gould’s Tap Concerto with the ABC Symphony Orchestra at Perth Concert Hall. I then went on to tour Australia and Asia with the Snow White Production of Disney on Parade for eighteen before dancing a short contract with Regmat Productions.
One of the most exciting dance performance experiences of my life was playing Mark Anthony in the 1977 Australian production of A Chorus Line. This show strengthened my dance capabilities and meant that between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two I gained an immense amount of dance experience working with international dancers, directors and choreographers. After A Chorus Line I moved into dance on television which led me to working in London for the very talented English choreographer Jeff Richer.
After three years of consistent work with Jeff and other London based choreographers I began to wonder where my whirlwind of a dance career had taken me!
I began to wonder if this is what I really wanted to be doing. I loved the dance and the thrill of exploring what my body could do, however I was becoming less able to tolerate being ‘told’ what to do in the manner in which it was told. Some choreographers were abusive in their use of language and delegation of dance roles, abusive in their demands on individual’s physicality. Some choreographers, directors and producers were unknowingly and/or explicitly abusive in their attitudes toward women and homosexuals. I found myself in a ‘top-down’ hierarchy where the abuse of power was prevalent. This was really unsettling in such a creative industry and one of the reasons I turned to choreography and teaching at the age of twenty five.
I was then able to explore my ambitions through working with a much more inclusive approach to teaching and choreography that was not about power or being the most aesthetically pleasing dance object; but more about incorporating individual choice and difference. My choreographic career in the commercial sector had its limits due to my experience of the continuing abusive attitudes of directors and producers who did not appreciate individuality, progressive approaches to dance performance, or respectful attitudes to dancers and choreographers.
I then turned to fulltime dance education where I could develop and implement a more holistic approach to dance education and performance. Not wanting to
replicate my own experience I chose to celebrate each individual’s skills and artistry as a starting point, so I was then able to strengthen and support dance
trainee’s individuality, self esteem and self expression to enhance development of their perception of technique and artistry.
Dance education took me to many countries, and to local and international dance schools and colleges where I was always welcomed and applauded for
my methods and capabilities. Eventually I began exploring what I might do instead of teaching as the rigours of regurlaly teaching jazz dance technique while
maintaining flexibility and a degree of athleticism meant that I was heading toward repetitive strain injuries.
What could I possibly do?
Dance examining ... chiropractic ... ostepopathy ... feldenkrais practitioner ... eventually, I found dance movement psychotherapy
... or did it find me! Creative, expressive, holistic, challenging, exhausting, revitalising, provocative, nourishing, educational and performative are all aspects of my dance movement psychotherapy experience.
Movement continues to be an integral aspect of my life journey, where I find that as we move through relationships with self and others this performative act is a dance of ever-changing shapes and dialogues. I believe that improvised dance movement provides a malleable space in which to explore our interactions through creative movement. This creative endeavour allows spontaneity of self-expression that bridges the space between the stories we live and the stories we tell, and this explorative space provides the chance to experiment with our individual identity.
From moment to moment our life-worlds are sculpted by the choices we make and that we express in our verbal and non-verbal communication; these spontaneous and/or considered interactions are further shaped by cultural perceptions of gender definitions that exacerbate or strengthen identity survival. My intent is to empower those I meet to explore choices available to them and to acknowledge how these choices shape our space in the world. While honouring our similarities and differences we can celebrate the versatility of expression as man or woman.
I have a continued interest in improvisational performance as a way of exploring the body in action, and of developing personal understanding of inhabiting a creative and moving physicality.
This leads me to consider gender constructs, relationships with self and others, my physical environment,
my biological being and the impression that the world and me make on each other.
This journey has led me to work with dance and dance movement psychotherapy for people of all ages in dance education, mental health, children with special needs, gay men, elders with dementia, and adults with learning disabilities and complex needs.
I cherish my involvement in development of the Dance Movement Psychotherapy profession by being a Senior Lecturer in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Roehampton University London. I have been council member and Chair of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK and remain an active member of that association.
Most importantly I continue to be a man who moves!
Welcome to g-moves
These pages are a space for me to share with you some thoughts, reflections, curiosities, explorations and questions as an invitation for you to contemplate your way of being in the world.
These pages are also a reflection of my approach and way of being in dance movement psychotherapy practice, supervision and research.
I hold in mind that this is a publicly accessible website so great consideration of what is shared in a public space is an integral element of the content on these pages.
My intent is to stimulate positive thinking and hopefully some inspiration for us to develop our reflective and creative processes in response to what we learn from and share with one another.
In my personal and professional life I keep alive the possibility for and acceptance of change in our personal identity and social interactions. This is underpinned by my belief that we are ‘a site of permanent becoming’ (Jagose 1996).
I bring my enthusiasm and passion for sharing my knowledge and skills of dance movement and psychotherapy, of social relationships, and of the choices for daily life.
I bring curiosity about the language we use to co-create a shared sense of our relationships and how we can and do reshape ourselves in the development of our responsive expressive realities (Shotter 1997, 2004).
I hope that with my words and images we are able to initiate a spark!
A spark to renew our beliefs and acts that empower our positive, nurturing and respectful interpersonal relationships.
I will have images, words, essays, and prose to share. I may be able to offer advice and consultation if asked and agreed with specific terms and conditions depending on the context.
**Please see the bottom of this page for references
CONTACT (please see the contact form on the Contact page)
I view these thoughts and other content on my website as my intellectual property... so please honour my thoughts and way of being in the world by referencing
Unkovich, G. www.g-moves.info if you choose to use any of the material from my site. Thank you.
Jagose, A. (1996) Queer Theory. Available at: http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-Dec-1996/jagose.html (accessed 13/09/2013)
Shotter, J. (1997) The Social Construction of our Inner Lives. www.url available at http://www.massey.ac.nz/~alock/virtual/inner.htm (accessed 13/09/2013)
Shotter, J. (2004) Responsive Expression in living Bodies. Cultural Studies Vol. 18, No. 2/3 March/May 2004, pp. 442–459 ISSN 0950-2386 print/ISSN 1466-4348 online © 2004 Taylor &
Francis Ltd http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals DOI: 10.1080/0950238042000201608