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Life in Movement (ATOM Study Guide)

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The sudden death in 2007 of dancer and choreographer Tanja Liedtke brings life into sharp focus. A film about moving creatively through life and loss, Life in Movement is a portrait of an obsessive artist at work and the impact her life and death has on her collaborators.

Curriculum Guidelines

While Life in Movement is a film about a dancer and choreographer, it is essentially an intimate and complex portrait of a young woman who had already achieved a great deal as a creative artist before her sudden death at twenty-nine. It is a portrait of an artist and a celebration of a life and of contemporary dance, an art form to which Tanja Liedtke made such an important contribution. It is also a story about grief and loss.

The footage, descriptions and discus-sions of contemporary dance in this film will be especially interesting to students of performing arts such as Dance, Drama and Music; however this is essentially a film about the creative processes of an artist, about the intensity of focus and passionate dedication needed to bring new and challenging works to an audience. It is also a biographical portrait of a life in movement, a film that honours and celebrates the work and life of Tanja Liedtke, while also exploring the immense sense of loss felt by those closest to her.

For all these reasons, the film would be a valuable resource for middle, senior and tertiary students of all the Performing Arts, not just Dance, for the insights it offers into a number of themes that are central to any crea-tive process leading to performance. These include:

  • The creative process (generating, realising and responding)
  • The collaborative nature of performance
  • The role of a choreographer or artistic director
  • The ways in which both confidence and doubt can be major well-springs of creativity.

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