Actor, choreographer, dancer and star of the hit stage production of Dirty Dancing, Josef Brown has turned his talents to documentary making. His short form documentary Art, During Siege, is the third in the ABC TV Arts commissioned dance-art documentaries to screen on Sunday Afternoon.
In December 2003 Josef travelled to Ramallah, Palestine to view the work of ex-pat Australian dancer, choreographer and writer Nicholas Rowe. For the past six years Nicholas has been working in Palestine creating and directing an arts-workers course for co-founding the children of Palestine's many refugee camps and co-founding the first contemporary dance company in Palestine, Ramallah Dance Theatre.
Art, During Siege, produced by ABC TV Arts, has been created from the material Josef shot while on location in Palestine and documents the first work of Ramallah Dance Theatre, Access Denied - a work that grew out of the frustration of living in a world of dividing walls, curfews and checkpoints.
Compiled from performance and rehearsal footage of Access Denied and from interviews with Nicholas Rowe and Maysoun Rafeedie, Art, During Siege gives an insight into the context the work was created in, how Access Denied developed and what the work means to the people involved with it.
Due to administrative and infrastructure difficulties, Ramallah Dance Theatre disbanded shortly after the conclusion of the first season of Access Denied and no longer exists. As such this footage is a unique glimpse into an historic arts moment in Palestine and into the yearning and passion within one medium of Palestine's creative community.