Dancer Ellen Spence

Punda Milia

Punda Milia, (Swahili for "Zebra") is a 10 minute performance that through body painting, is a link between dance and art.

Kelsey Duncan
Ellen Spence
Anna Holmes
Charlotte Burton
Lighting: James Rosental
Artists: Kathryn Spence, Stephanie Bentley, James Rosental
Choreographer: Kathryn Spence


A group of Zebra is called Zeal or a Dazzle.

Some scientists believe the black and white stripes on a zebra helps keep them cool, or is used for identification, but many now believe it is used for survival to confuse their predators. Motion dazzle is when the zebras close together appear not as a group of zebra but as one larger entity of flickering stripes. This illusion makes it hard for a lion to pick one zebra out of the zeal. My inspiration for this movement piece came from animals who wear patterns to camouflage in protection, and confuse predators.

Punda Milia was a live art piece created as part of my contemporary dance degree. It explored the link between art and movement. It lasted for 10 minutes, but involved a 5 hour preparation time as it took me an hour to paint each dancer head to toe in body paint. I wanted to create a piece that was mesmerising and hypnotic that was confusing to the eye but still beautiful. I wanted to create different shapes that made no dancer look separate, but each body would create a bigger entity.

Dancer Anna Holmes