Happy 2021, everyone - here's to more dance together; some time, somewhere. 

I'm continuing to create new projects and build my practice.

Always interested in sharing and exploring. 

Email me.. dawnhartley@gmail.com

In partnership with The Byre Theatre                                         (image by Hazel Terry)

During lockdown in Summer 2020, Quee MacArthur and I created Sea Path as an online project. 

We invited fellow freelancers, Hazel Terry (Visual Art) and Niamh O'Loughlin (Dance) to contribute their ideas.

A short performance video was filmed by Brian Hartley, featuring dancer Jade Adamson, on the Fife Coastal Path. Quee wrote a new sound score, with playing from acclaimed musicians Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach.

The Sea Path video and Gallery can be seen on The Byre Theatre’s website -



We invited everyone to download Sea Path Routes from The Byre’s website, with prompts devised by the team to encourage writing, drawing, photography, film, painting, moving, singing… whatever inspired.

We offered introductory online workshops to meet the artists and asked everyone to share what they made on a Sea Path route. 

We've been delighted by the responses to Sea Path, from all over the world, inspiring the creation

of The Anywhere Route. 

Let us make a Sea Path near you; email 2020seapath@gmail.com to start the conversation.

(Photo by Brian Hartley - L to R - Jade, Dawn, Quee and Brian)


Below is a 5 minute video I created in response to the music sent to us, Sea Echo.

Click the musical note to unmute.  

Moving movement...

In short..



To sum up..

During 2020, I was delighted to work with Barrowland Ballet, Indepen-dance and Lyra, teaching, fundraising and supporting activities. 

2019 - Freelance tour support for Company Chordelia and Barrowland Ballet.

Project delivery with RCS Fair Access Team.  

Head of Creative Learning for Scottish Dance Theatre (2007 - 2019)


As the first Dance Artist for East Lothian Council Arts Service, (1999 - 2007), I initiated 

and delivered a region-wide Dance Programme, testing movements and themes

to give participants an invigorating and physically satisfying experience of movement.

Please see Life Story for more info and email me for current cv.  dawnhartley@gmail.com

Career-long Professional Learning

I  am passionate about dance and movement. With years of experience in delivery and design, I'll happily propose bespoke programmes of projects and CLPL for your cluster or school. 

Building on the basics to create complexity.

Leading Dance Workshops

I enjoy delivering dance sessions for all levels of experience to maximise full engagement and build confidence. 


Artistic Support

As a former performer,  I have experience in all aspects of artistic development from idea to studio to stage to outdoors.  

Please email for advice - If I don't know, I'm happy to direct you to someone who does.

Share the love.

Dancebase R & D Online Residency May 2020- The Tasks

1 minute task: Position the camera so that your whole body standing can be seen,

stand on the first mark and record. 

In one move, get your right eye as close as you can to the lens.

Stay there until you want to move again.

Slowly retreat from the camera, back of the head leading, backwards and down to the ground

until you are lying on the ground with your feet at Mark 2.

Move to conceal what you don’t want to show, staying in shot.

Use time, levels and movement qualities/effort to hide.

Release it all (any way you want) and exit the shot to ‘Stage Left’.  Stop recording.


2 minute task: Start recording and retreat from the camera until your whole body can be seen. 

In many moves and random directions, get your right eye close to the camera lens

then retreat from the camera in a decisive and clear way. Get low to the ground with your feet at Mark 2.

Do what you want someone else to observe. Use time, levels and movement qualities/effort. Or anything else.

Exit the shot towards ‘Stage Left’ and make a last minute swerve to the camera.

Stop recording.

Aim of the film?

I looked for common threads and standout moves, for moments that piqued my curiosity.

I then blocked these into an I Movie project. 

I quickly became interested in the passing of energy from one dancer to another, becoming completely absorbed by the attention to detail needed to ensure the movement flowed from one another.                                My fascination in recognising the micro movements the dancers made before committing to the next move grew. Imperceptible in real live life, on screen I could see the flick of a finger, a micro blink, an eyelid twitch, a minute head move or a tiny shift of weight and then.... they're off! 


Once I’d made an edit, I talked with Quee MacArthur, Composer and husband, about the idea of the sound being brash, inhuman, stark, uncomfortable and unmusical. Not words usually attributed to Quee's compositions!


I told him my rationale, vague ideas of landmark references, of where I thought there was space in the resulting short film and where I imagined more driving, pushing through, energetic flow.

Quee quickly came up with the ideas of using reverb and delay as an analogy to the distance of the camera. 

He wanted a slightly manic vibe, echoing the editing.

He programmed a track of underlying beats, using a moving low pass filter.


We talked about introducing real instruments and Quee used some audio from the dancers’ films which he processed. I pushed for more bass. He is a bass player....


We held an online preview for 5 of the dancers. It was so lovely seeing everyone, albeit on zoom, though we missed Shannon as she was working in France with little wifi access when we zoomed.


You can see these beautiful contributions from these generous dancers on Vimeo.

Password is Dancebase 


Thanks to dancers Shannon, Niamh, Leanne, Jack, Alan and Ellis, to Dancebase

and to Quee MacArthur for composing the music.

Feedback about Dancebase R & D residency online 2020

Dawn that video is incredible.
The movement really drew me in, and it was particularly cool to see the dancers in their different surroundings, and when they came up and eyeballed the camera it felt simultaneously startling, intimate
and gave this feeling of connection and closeness.
Especially impressive to achieve something at that level during an r&d in lockdown - well done!

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