Come to the Edge - Miriam Nicholls

Miriam Nicholls / Dusty Feet Dance Collective


Miriam Nicholls trained at the Victorian College of the Arts and has worked as a dancer with companies and choreographers including QL2 Dance, Cadi McCarthy, Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Buzz Dance Theatre, fLing Physical Theatre, National Capital Dancers and Tracks Dance. As a scholarship recipient at Impulstanz (Vienna), she worked with choreographers from across Europe before performing with project-based companies in the UK and Asanti Dance Theatre in Ghana. 

Miriam came to Mparntwe / Alice Springs for a one-year position as a dance and drama teacher in 2006. She fell in love with it and has been here since.

She founded Dusty Feet Dance Collective and SPRUNG Youth Dance, teaching community classes and choreographing original work, including performances at the Australian Youth Dance Festival and iMoves at the Darwin Entertainment Centre. Miriam created full-length productions including site-specific work at the Alice Springs Skatepark and Aviation Museum, and a tour to Short Sweet Dance Festival in Canberra. Come to the Edge incorporates aerial choreography by artists of Strings Attached (NSW) and was first performed as part of the Desert Festival’s Project Seed. She also created A Forest for Duprada Dance Company and performed in Poetry in Motion, choreographed by Paul Knobloch from the Australian Ballet. Miriam also travelled to Perth in November to work with STRUT Dance in the first of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s master workshop series. 

Miriam has performed with GUTS Dance, the Red Dirt Poetry Festival, the Desert Diamonds, Cats Meow Cabaret, Dani Powell, Tammy Brennan and Afo Afro, with whom she choreographed Shira, a West African / contemporary dance fusion piece in 2021. She has worked extensively with artists with disability, as Associate Director in large-scale productions including Close to Me (2011), and since 2009 as mentor and workshop leader with Incite Arts’ performing company stArts with D. Miriam has also worked as a dance, drama and music teacher in schools both in town and remote communities, and led many student productions and community events. 

As a regional, mid-career artist, and mum of three young kids, Miriam is passionate about developing dance that creates joy, sustainability, connection and inspiration. 

Development Process 

Project Seed represented a platform upon which Miriam could explore her experiences and skills, and to develop her own practice further. It also provided the creative environment for Dusty Feet Dance Collective to re-form. 

Miriam began choreography development in February, with input from Hayley Michener. Both dancers attended an artist residency with Strings Attached (NSW) in April 2022, to learn about aerial safety and artistry. Regular, weekly rehearsals and development sessions took place between April and June. 

The Dusty Feet collective then had a week-long intensive with mentors from Strings Attached, in June. This is where the final choreography was explored and refined. 

For Project Seed, Miriam Nicholls and Dusty Feet Dance Collective developed and performed a new dance work inspired by the poem Come to the Edge by Christopher Logue. The imagery in this poem, the ideas around comfort zones, vulnerabilities, hard edges and diving into the unknown, were the starting points for a project that took them to the East Coast and the aerials mentoring of Strings Attached’s Lee-Anne Litton & Alejandro Rolandi. This mentoring, collaboration and skills development enabled the realisation of Miriam’s vision of incorporate aerials into the work, to choreographically match the imagery of the poem. 


“Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It’s too high! 
Come to the edge. And they came. And he pushed. And they flew.” 

– Christopher Logue 

Come to the Edge was presented twice at the Centralian Senior College Theatrette, to audiences of over 150 people each show. Four dancers took to the stage in what was a whimsical and gentle exploration of the poem. The performance built to the climax which involved all four dancers lifting off the ground and ‘flying’/ dancing in harnesses.  Their poetic float and drift mesmerised audiences. 

Dusty Feet are seeking other avenues to present the work again, and possibly tour it. 


  • Miriam Nicholls  

  • Hayley Moochiner  

  • Kaye Penderson   

  • Gabby Diplock 

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