Dance of Nature is a 1995 documentary by Australian filmmaker Don Featherstone. The documentary follows the life and work of Ross Edwards, from his early years and travels, to his mature years as one of Australia’s most distinguished composers. The documentary was filmed while Ross Edwards was composing his guitar concerto ‘Arafura Dances’, and culminates with the world premiere of the concerto by the pre-eminent Australian guitarist John Williams.
Born in 1943, Edwards went to England to study composition and returned to Australia to work, settling in Pearl Beach on the New South Wales Central Coast. The filmmaker takes Edwards back to London and Yorkshire to recount his development as a composer. Selections of Edwards’s work are used to background the documentary. The film features Edwards at rehearsals of his works and gives a sense of the magic of the Australian bushland as Edwards sees and hears it.
“Ross Edwards’s music often refers to the sounds of the Australian bush. He reflects the natural environment in its patterns and shapes particularly birdsong and the sound of insects. Edwards’s music is performed worldwide. He has written symphonies, concertos, vocal and chamber music as well as dance music. Producer–director Don Featherstone specialises in arts documentaries. His credits include, The Beach, The Daylight Moon, Babakiueria and An Imaginary Life.” - Damien Parer