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Dancer Caitlin Mackenzie returns to Canberra for the 10th anniversary of Reckless Valour

Walking through the halls of the Australian War Memorial 10 years ago was an introduction to something much bigger for former Canberra dancer Caitlin Mackenzie. 

The experience was part of her first Quantum Leap project, one that shaped her career.

In preparation for the first Reckless Valour performance in 2005, a moving tribute to young Australians in war, Ms Mackenzie researched stories from various wars to learn about the young people who fought them.

"There were incredible stories of courage and valour, and we discovered the real meaning behind reckless valour – those two words," Ms Mackenzie said.

"It was the first time I connected the idea of dance being an art form.

"I realised there was so much more; it was a really big moment for me."


The Brisbane-based Ms Mackenzie, 26, was back in Canberra as part of the 10-year anniversary of the show. 

She is training other young dancers in the piece, set to be performed later this month.

"It's fairly easy, in a way, to get the material in their bodies and help them learn the steps and movement," she said.

"We're also making sure they understand the meaning behind the work, and the concepts, and the importance of that and the research behind it all."

Ms Mackenzie said it was nice to be behind the scenes of the upcoming show at Canberra Theatre, from Wednesday, July 29, to Saturday, August 1.

While she was enjoying the experience, she said that it was vital that the new dancers in the production took ownership of the work. "We really want them to feel like it's their own. We are allowing it to change and shift, and there is a new section being added so they get that feeling of ownership."

Ms Mackenzie is now an independent artist with the Makeshift Dance Collective in Brisbane. 

She said she enjoys coming to Canberra often, to maintain the connection with QL2. 

Find out more about Reckless Valour at or book tickets through the Canberra Theatre on 6275 2700 or at