From Infancy – Ashleigh Musk


Ashleigh Musk is a dancer, choreographer, producer and community arts facilitator. She uses the body as the central tool for creation, alongside text, object and space, creating works that balance darkness and fear with light, hope and reflection. She uses movement as a vehicle to spark empowerment, celebration and change, encouraging active witnessing by audiences and participants.   

Ashleigh strongly believes in the value of engaging in dialogue and critical discussion in the artistic process, creating work that is deeply rooted in considering its place and context in the world around us. Over the past three years she has been developing and experimenting with a choreographic and movement practice which centres architectural concepts, worldbuilding and landscapes in the body.   

She has a particular interest in the conflict between built and natural environments, and the situating of the body within this conflict. This exploration often involves the use of industrial materials within creative works and transforming the performance space into a new landscape.   

Development Process 

Conceptualised in 2021, From Infancywas an experimental, durational installation concerned with terraforming – the transformation of hostile environments. It began development with five dancers too many and moved forward in 2022 with three instead.   

The work was developed through a three-week creative process in July/August 2022 in Mpartnwe / Alice Springs, in collaboration with performers Kelly Beneforti (Garramilla, NT) and Jenni Large (Lutruwita/Tasmania). The creative process involved research and exploration through the improvisation and experimentation of forty ‘columns’ (plastic tubes) which formed the landscape for the work.   

The dancers had a three-week intensive in July 2022, where they explored and built up endurance, before the final six-hour piece.   


From Infancy was presented as a durational work, where the dancers inhabited the space and moved in, around, on and over the objects over a six-hour period.   

The work was presented in the Workshop at Red Hot Arts Central Australia where Ashleigh’s 2021 work, Fertile Ground was also presented.   

The dancers navigated the space with each other, and the columns that were moved around, almost forming a character in themselves; their hard, straight plastic form and the clanging sound against the concrete floor in stark contrast to the supple and feminine movements of the dancers. Three women co-existed within a forest of plastic columns, experimenting with gentle but persistent acts which transform their bodies and surroundings over a six hour period. Their collective attempts to understand the material gives way to unintended consequences, patience is required in this precarious landscape. 



  • Ashleigh Musk   

  • Kelly Beneforti   

  • Jenni Large