She moves slowly, effortlessly, gracefully - as if she were simply blowing in the wind, letting her body succumb to the rhythm of nature. Her poetry is the art of self-expression and awareness. The stage is her canvas and with each step, she playfully paints a new feeling.
Meet the beautiful model who brought our latest Rouge campaign to life, Courtney Allen. While shooting on the rugged South Australian coastline, we were in awe of Courtney's ability to move so naturally and fluidly. Reacting to the environment around her, each movement is like a word on paper slowly writing a poem. We were immediately inspired and it was through Courtney and her dancing that our campaign took on a new form, a new life, a new poem.
“I’m from Canberra, Australia. I grew up in town and rurally. I loved being connected to the city near friends and being able to be out on the farm connected to nature.”
“My favourite place to visit is a hard one and seems to be forever changing throughout my life…
One special place that I’ve frequently visited in the last six months is Mount Kembla Hike near Wollongong. I spent three months living there recently with my brother, his partner and my newborn niece before moving back to Sydney. This place holds a special place in me and has played a massive role in building my strength, clearing my mind and witnessing my niece grow. Every week I would walk up the mountain and then run down it, dodging trees and vines and jumping over logs. I love to do what makes me feel alive. I have always felt most connected to the dense subtropical rainforests surrounded by mountain streams and moss.”
Courtney’s love for performing began as a young girl, from Irish dancing at school to choreographing routines with her friends at after school care. It was this love for performing that we saw on set for Rouge, it was serious and elegant yet playful and silly. We watched on as the multi-faceted woman came to life.
“I’ve always been passionate about all forms of creative expression. Since I was young I’ve always been a dancer, dancing is definitely my truest form of self-expression and where I feel the most liberated.”
Not only a dancer and model, Courtney also works as a freelance photographer. Having been on both sides of the camera, Courtney brings a wealth of knowledge to the shoot. Her incredible ability to move is only enhanced by her knowledge of lighting and angles.
“I’ve been a freelance photographer for the past seven years which has also played a huge role in how I see the world, express and bring my ideas to life. I’m passionate about integrating diverse art forms to create immersive and sensory art experiences. I’ve always held a deep fascination for people, relationships, intimacy and human interconnection with nature.”
“I’ve created multiple works in the last few years which are site-specific dance works in nature. One of my recent works was captured in Namadgi National Park. This body of work was an empathic, personal ceremonial project acknowledging the devastation and regeneration of the fires. I responded to the environment through intuitive dance, honouring the existing life cycles of life, death and rebirth. It was a heartbreaking moment in my life watching the South Coast and the Snowy Mountains burn, both of these places being sacred to where I had grown up and was frequently visiting. Witnessing and experiencing the recent fires has played a huge role in the way I now feel about climate change, our impact on the planet and the sacredness of the earth.”
“I’ve always believed in empowering women, female mentors and listening to the woman before me. I don’t feel we listen or pay enough attention to our ancestors and women before us. There is so much wisdom if we are willing to listen and practise patience.”
“Last year I spent six months being mentored in dance by Elizabeth Cameron Dalman. Elizabeth is in her eighties and was one of the first to bring contemporary dance to Australia. She founded Australian Dance Theatre which is based in Adelaide. I would travel out to her property every week and train with her in her dance studio. I would learn about contemporary dance, indigenous dance and culture, the body and the world of theatre and performing. She is such a strong, courageous woman with a huge mind who has been a dream mentor in my life. I’m so grateful to know her and feel like I’ve known her my whole life, like an older sister.”