Inspiring Eileen

2016 - A big year for Eileen!

Our beautiful centenarian ambassador, Eileen, is continuing her unstoppable journey in 2016 with a range of exciting creative projects. This inspirational writer, dancer, choreographer and artist has been busier than ever this year, here is just a few of the amazing things she's been working on.

  • Choreographed, staged and starred in her wonderful new dance The Early Ones at the Independent Theatre in Sydney.
  • Featured in two music videos. See her perform with the talented Sarah Belkner in her new release Suzanne.
  • Posed for two portraits, one by Danelle Bergstrom which is accpeted into the Portia Geach prize.
  • Performed on stage in the Belvoir production of The Wizard of Oz throughout May.
  • Travelled to the Australian Outback.
  • Collaborated with Australian fasion designer Brigid McLaughlin and raised money to support training of our artists through the 'Art of Eileen' crowdfunding project.
  • Danced in her production of the Early Ones at NIDA in March, this being her second season.
  • Instructed a movement workshop to a jam packed audiance at The Art Gallery of NSW. 


As a world traveller returning home to Australia, I have been be given the opportunity to work on all my various creative projects and I am inspired by the welcome that I have had. Two of the projects that are most important to me at this time are a new opening to my dance drama, the Early Ones, and a further development to my memoirs which I hope to have published in Australia.

I was greatly inspired by a recent visit to the red heart of Australia, Uluru. Although as a member of the Bodenwieser Ballet I had visited all the coastal towns and cities of Australia, this was my first time to experience the desert. It felt easy, it was uncomplicated and a place of peaceful living. I had a feeling that this was Australia’s spiritual core. It has inspired me to want to go further and go right to north of Australia. My next visit will be to Museum of New and Old Art (MONA) in Tasmania and I am very much looking forward to this.



Born in 1914, Eileen Kramer embodies the living, creative spirit of the Avant Garde artist. Her 75-year career as writer, dancer, painter, costume designer and choreographer began in 1939 with the Bodenwieser Ballet, Australia’s first modern dance company led by the renowned European Expressionist choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser.

Following the 1959 closure of the Bodenwieser Ballet, Eileen travelled through India, Pakistan, Africa and Europe where she worked as a dancer, learnt mask-making and immersed herself in all the new art ofthe mid century. Upon settling in the United States in early 80s she became a member of Trillium Performing Arts in Lewisberg, where she choreographed and performed in many productions until her return to Australia at the age of 99, because she “missed the kookaburras”.

In 2014, Eileen performed in a production at Belvoir St Theatre, featured in Lacey Cole’s music video Nephilim's Lament and performed at BEAM Arts Festival in Sydney.

In November, she was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts Health Institute for whom she is now an official Ambassador. Inspired by this, Eileen began choreographing her new work ‘The Early Ones’.

In February, Eileen was invited to be an artist in residence at Bundanon Trust in their Arts in Residence program. Over one week Eileen worked with some of Australia's most talented dancers with rehearsal director, Julia Cotton and composer Nicholas Lyon, to create this work.

“The Early Ones” a dream come true

With the help of incredible media support and generous donations, the Inspiring Eileen crowdfunding was a success, exceeding its $26,000 target by raising a total of $28,036 (pozible link). On March 13 and 14 Eileen realised her dream of bringing The Early Ones to the stage at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney, to resounding applause.


Touching the hearts of millions

At 100 years, Eileen is most likely the longest living dancer and choreographer in Australia, if not the world. Her story has captured the hearts of millions, going viral with well over 3 million views of the ABC News story. The Huffington Post, with a readership of more than 45 million, wrote "For very obvious reasons, Kramer is officially our new heroine, both for her creative devotion and hypnotic talent, not to mention the fact that she's putting stereotypes about aging to serious shame." On Sunday 16 March, ABC’s Compass program hosted by Geraldine Doogue launched its 2015 season with its Eileen Kramer documentary Dancing @ 100, a magnificent program that was watched across the nation.

Follow Eileen on Facebook, Twitter using the hashtag #inspiringeileen, and Instagram artshealthinstitute.

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