27 May, 2013 Last updated: 16 Jul, 2015

VicHealth’s MOTION projects work in partnership with local communities to provide free, vibrant, and unique ways to get people moving more often, and to meet new people while having fun.

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Five arts and cultural organisations are set to get thousands of Victorians physically active through participating in arts activities.

VicHealth’s MOTION projects work in partnership with local communities to provide free, vibrant, and unique ways to get people moving more often, and to meet new people while having fun.

The 2013 MOTION projects include:

• People-powered sculptures that will get festival-goers peddling to power light, sound and dance at festivals around Victoria.

• An Alice in Wonderland-inspired project to get people of all ages to move and dance.

• Deaf artists working to motivate young deaf people to dance, while dance teachers become skilled to create opportunities for inclusive dance in their local communities.

• Playgrounds and shopping centres that will become a circus without a tent, to encourage children and adults to play.

• The opportunity for the community to learn, create and perform five traditional Indigenous dances at festival events, inspired by Elders.

These projects involve a host of talented arts organisations, artists and communities whose creativity will motivate people to get up and out of their chairs as a great way to help improve health and prevent illness.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said more than half of Victorian adults do not get enough physical activity.

“Sufficient physical activity every day is crucial to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Common reasons people don’t get enough physical activity include lack of time, cost, lack of motivation, support or companionship, perceptions of risk and social or cultural barriers,” Ms Rechter said.

“Sport isn’t the only way to get physically active. These MOTION projects are designed to inspire people who may not usually get involved in physical activity to get moving. The idea is to make everyone feel welcome to join in and have fun in the process.

“Regular physical activity also improves mental health and increases resilience against stress, anxiety and depression, so I’d encourage all Victorians to keep an eye out for MOTION projects in their local area.”

The five MOTION projects across Victoria

Art Pumping Action - The Village Festival (Horsham, Yarra, Mount Alexander, Surf Coast)

Ever wanted to power up a festival? This project will give you that chance to do just that through four unique, creative, pedal-powered sculptures designed and created in collaboration with youth from local communities. During four Village festivals, the general public can get pedalling and power games, lighting, cinema, dance parties and a projector to inspire festival audiences to get moving.

The Alice Project - Ausdance Victoria (Glenelg, Latrobe and East Gippsland)

The story and characters from Alice in Wonderland will become the catalyst for curiosity and a new found love of movement that motivates people of all ages to get physically active and to dance in their local communities. Children and parents will learn creative dance in public libraries and locals will be challenged to journey along 2,500 footprints on local footpaths. The community will then come together at the Hatters Tea Party and Hatters Parade to celebrate the Adventures of Alice through dance and movement.

The Ripple Effect - Arts Access Victoria (Melbourne, Geelong, Frankston, Bendigo, Maribrynong)
Inspired and led by deaf artists, young deaf people will come together in their local communities, build skills, share stories and connect through dance, drama and physical arts. Local dance and drama teachers will learn how to be inclusive of deaf people in their classes and provide more regular opportunities for young deaf people to dance.

Art of Play - Women’s Circus (Maribyrnong, Hobson’s Bay, Brimbank)

Parents and children across the Western Suburbs of Melbourne will be surprised and delighted when play and circus activities come to their local playgrounds, malls and streets, and these normally mundane places are transformed into circuses without a tent. The project is designed to reinvigorate public spaces, to entice people out to play and connect with one another and ultimately aims to inspire new ways to think about the way we use public spaces.

Dance Republic - Big West Festival (Maribyrnong, Brimbank, Wyndham)

A team of elders from five Indigenous dance groups will teach traditional dance practices to mentorees and people living across the West of Melbourne. These will include IDJA (Australian Indigenous), Toi Haka (Maori), Bindaas (classical Indian and Bollywood), Dombai (South Sudanese) and Chin Karen dance.

Community members will be invited to take part in workshops to experience, learn and create dance sequences that represent a mix of intercultural, urban and social dance, culminating in performances at local festival events in the west that invite audiences to join in and dance.