Life in Movement

DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 19min

DIRECTED BY: Bryan Mason and Sophie Hyde

Portrait of a dancer: Liedtke

In 2007, at age 29, German-born dancer and choreographer Tanja Liedtke was struck and killed by a garbage truck in Crow’s Nest, Sydney. She had not yet started work as the new artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company (succeeding company founder Graeme Murphy), where she would doubtless have excelled as she did with every dance she created. Eighteen months later, Tanja’s fiancé, Sol Ulbrich, and a troupe of dancers with whom she had also collaborated, restaged her work in an international tour, filmed in revealing detail by Mason and Hyde.


Tanja is physically gone but by no means forgotten in their affecting portrayal: not only is there ample footage of her in action but those who knew her speak of her open-hearted, exacting presence, exceptional ability and corresponding creative insecurity with enduring awe and regret. “She was such a powerful woman but she was also just this girl,” dancer Kristina Chan says. “She was both.” Hyde and Mason pay fluid tribute to a complex woman whose minutely disciplined and spookily evocative productions consumed and mirrored her world.