Image: Shane Rozario

BlackLux: Perspectives In Timelapse

Lucky Lartey

Lucky Lartey is a Sydney-based dancer and choreographer at the forefront of exploring intercultural dance practices as part of the contemporary dance space in Australia. Born in Ghana, West Africa, Lucky’s dance and choreographic work draws on a rich history of traditional rhythm and dance while engaging with contemporary movement practices and contemporary art forms.

Lucky’s work traverse’s themes of social justice, identity, movement inspired by African architecture, the exotification of non-Western bodies and subjectivities, and the relationship between hip hop culture and African oral traditions.

Lucky’s recent choreographic works include: BlackLux: Perspectives in timelapse (2022) – an interdisciplinary work using dance, photography and animation (Sydney Festival 2023, Sydney Fringe & Art Gallery of NSW, 2022), Exoticism (2022) a solo work developed as part of the Keir Choreographic Award, and Infusion – No Movement No Sound (2021) an intercultural work that premiered at the Opera House.

Lucky’s other choreographic works and projects include the debut of his solo work Full Circle as part of FORM Dance’s Dance Bites Program 2019 at Riverside Theatre, DirtyFeet’s Out of the Studio Program 2018, Happy Hour 2017 with Ready Made Works, Australian Council’s Singapore Dance Exchange Project Fund in 2017 to work with Ming Poon in Singapore, Keith Bain Travel Fellowship from Ausdance and the Innovating Practice Grant from Ausdance NSW to travel to Burkina Faso to work with Serge Aime Coulibaly in 2017. Works by date: Full Circle (2017, 2018, 2019) INFUSION No Movement No Sound (2017), Made in Ghana (2016), Long Walk (2015), which debuted at the Attakkalari India Biennial and Jamestown! (2015), which premiered at Sydney and Melbourne Fringe Festivals and Meeting Point (2013, 2014).


BlackLux: Perspectives in Timelapse is a short film and dance performance. It is a multidisciplinary dance work inspired by an African Architecture village in Tiebele in Burkina Faso. Blacklux’ installation involves the use of black light, UV light, black and white visual contrast PVC tape, to explore objects in space, the body, the body’s relationship to space, and progressively, the relationship between multiple moving bodies in high contrast space. It is a true exploration of the visual representation of storytelling.

Future presentations of the live performance will see a work that is presented in a black and white space for the first half, and a second half experience largely in blacklight darkness, capturing movement, shapes, negative space and optical illusions.

BlackLux challenges the western perception of light and camera being calibrated for the white body by actively recalibrating for black and brown bodies, representing the diverse face of Australia. This project enables an Australian African artist to make new and experimental work in Australia with a voice that is unmistakably African. Inspired by another project, Sankofa Moving Architecture (SAM), BlackLux employs the notions of exploring moving architecture and architectural shapes created by positive and negative space when the body moves.

Through this work, Lartey looks to his homelands for architectural inspiration, referencing traditional African architecture found in a village called Tiebele in West Africa (Kassena people). Dating back to the 15th century, these earthen huts in the form of a flattened cone are elaborately decorated with black and white geometric shapes and symbols of local folklore. This multimedia work steps outside the barriers of dance work created in and for black box theatres, lending itself in nature and in a white box space, allowing experiments with site and location, light and blacklight, using and bending photography techniques and using animation to emphasise architectural designs.

Session Times
PROFILE: Here’s Our Idea
Friday 9 June, 11:30am AEST


Lucky Lartey