Restless Dance Theatre

Led by Artistic Director Michelle Ryan, one of Australia’s leading dance artists, Restless Dance Theatre creates high quality real, raw and uninhibited dance theatre. It is Australia’s leading dance theatre company working with young people with and without disability to collaboratively create outstanding inclusive dance theatre informed by disability. The company presents unexpectedly real dance theatre works in multiple mediums to diverse audiences.  Restless artists enliven and diversify Australian dance creating original and remarkable work that extends the definition of what dance is.

  • Image by Shane Reid

    Intimate Space 2017

    Performers - Zoe Messenger and Josh Campton

  • Image by Shane Reid

    Intimate Space 2017

    Performers - Lorcan Hopper and Chris Dyke

  • Image by Shane Reid

    Intimate Space 2017

    Performers - Jianna Georgiou and Alex Luke

  • Image by Andy Rasheed


    Performers - Lorcan Hopper, Chris Dyke, Josh Campton and Michael Hodyl

Contact details

Nick Hughes
Company Manager

195 Gilles Street
South Australia

Artistic Director(s)

Michelle Ryan



Promotional video for Restless Dance, which introduces the company and its work


Intimate Space

Duration: 60 minutes
Number of people on road: Touring Company of 19 (11 Performers, Director, Project Manager, Stage Manager, Technical Manager, 3 ASM’s, FOH Manager/Performer). In each city 9 local performers will be engaged for particular scenes OR fully local cast with 6 weeks to develop a unique
Freight: Excess baggage

Freight details:


An experiential work of dance theatre set in a leading hotel, check in with your fellow guests and be immersed into a poignant and at times hilarious imaginative environment. On this travelling adventure, the hotel's sophisticated bar and lush rooms with views are contrasted by the stark undertones of the nooks and crannies of its back-of-house operations. Guided by an evocative soundscape by Jason Sweeney, the physical conversation takes a similarly diverse journey. Witness a tender and cheeky duet in a private room then an urgent physical explosion in the laundry. All looks neat and tidy but what is going on behind the scenes of these emotional dance vignettes? Challenging themes of visibility, authority, self-worth and relationships, the dancers ask you to uncover meaning in the delicately crafted movement. Both elegant and humorous, be surprised and enchanted by this exquisite performance experience. Intimate Space was nominated for a 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Dance Production. Intimate Space premiered at Hilton Adelaide as part of Adelaide Festival from 3rd to 19th of March 2017. The season sold out prior to opening and received 10 brilliant reviews.

Extra information

Intimate Space is an experiential, promenade work in a 4 or 5 star hotel. It’s an intimate work for just 12 audience members at a time. The audience check-in and receive a baggage tag that they put around their wrist and go on an exclusive journey encountering a series of engaging and surprising performance vignettes along the way, all guided by an evocative and immersive soundscape by Jason Sweeney.

First they are led through the sophisticated areas of the hotel then take a lift to a hotel room where they are given torches to illuminate a couple on the bed. Next, through back of house to the kitchen where the smells of the day fill the air as a large woman waves a cleaver. Into the industrial laundry where the relentless tumble of the dryers form the backdrop to an explosive duet. To the mezzanine where the audience watch couples performing intimate duets below in the lush bar to a soundtrack of whispering judgements. The work is funny, compelling, immersive and very poignant. The intimate audience are not just voyeurs but become key players integral to the intricate performances.

Michelle Ryan directed the work with assistance from Josephine Were. The Set and Costume Design is by Meg Wilson, the Lighting Design by Geoff Cobham and the Composition is by Jason Sweeney.

The thrilling thing about Intimate Space is that no 2 shows are the same. Hotel guests and staff form the backdrop. Whether it’s the 50 rev heads in the bar in town for the Clipsal car race, an eccentric woman walking her 2 whippets through a scene, or a smashed glass being swept up from the floor in the lobby, there is always a surprise and every sense is ignited. Think Wes Anderson meets David Lynch.

Intimate Space is a site-specific work that can be re-worked to suit a variety of hotel layouts in all sorts of destinations. It will suit programmers of festivals that are interested in placing a work in a hotel context, venue programmers who are interested in programming off-site and programmers of festivals that are based in non-traditional spaces. It offers a unique opportunity for presenters with hotel partners to activate their premises, providing an exclusive performance experience for their guests.

A full tool kit is available including;

  • A suite of brilliant reviews
  • High quality striking imagery and promo clip
  • A comprehensive risk management plan
  • And a detailed proposal to help secure a presenting hotel
  • Guidance around Auslan & Audio Described performances
  • Community Engagement Plan
  • Endorsement from Hilton Adelaide hotel

Wrap-around work

Restless Dance Theatre will develop an innovative and meaningful community engagement strategy alongside the work we present to ensure that audiences and communities are engaged deeply and will benefit from the experience for the long term. Restless runs an extensive high quality workshop program and has a long history of delivering community workshops and extended residency programs. Restless can work with these existing skills as well as innovate by thinking more creatively about how it engages with its audience before during and after a performance presentation. We can also offer post show Q&A's, tailored presentations and participate in panel discussions.

Press Comments & Testimonials

5 STARS. Innovative, potent, bold and extraordinary and highly entertaining experience” - Limelight

"...exquisite, daring, compelling, profound, thrilling, funny, cheeky and sweet" - The Advertiser

"...exceptionally beautiful and highly skilled, often funny, and always moving" - Robyn Archer

"A magically beautiful, stunningly presented and wonderfully staged production" - The Upside News

"Restless changes attitudes to disability every time it performs" - Noel Jordan 

"…one of the great treasures of Adelaide. It’s an amazing company of dancers and performers. But what you don’t see on stage is disability, you just see an extraordinary group of human beings dancing with such heart and such talent" - Neil Armfield