Through the Licence to Move access and outreach program for boys and young men, we encourage young male participants who would otherwise not choose dance— or who would not disciver dance as a creative force.
We will continue our Junior Training Program, a series of weekly classes for 8–15 year olds designed to build dance technique, strength, alignment, fitness, and stylistic variety. It reinforcing any existing training while expanding horizons, and is also an excellent introduction to dance for non-dancers.
Chaos will be a major project with participants aged 8-17. It will give younger, less experienced participants an entry point that builds confidence and skills, with an exposure to choreographic development in an age-appropriate environment. We will develop a full-length dance work over a three-month period, with guest choreographers.
Quantum Leap: an auditioned, elite youth dance ensemble. The most visible of our activities to the Canberra public, Quantum Leap youth dance ensemble develops physical and creative skills within a company structure over several years, provides professional and community networks for young people, and supports and develops their vocational aspirations. We will attract new participants from the ACT region, and participants will be auditioned to become a ‘Quantum Leaper’. Aged 15–26, they will become part of a process of creation, development and presentation of new dance works under the leadership of and in collaboration with professional choreographers.
Alongside the projects, participants will join the Quantum Leap Training Program, a series of weekly classes designed to build choreographic awareness, creative capacity and confidence, dance technique, strength, alignment, fitness, and stylistic variety. After starting a project, participants will continue in the Training Program throughout the year. Visiting artists, including previous Quantum Leapers who have graduated from tertiary dance studies, will enhance the Training Program with the addition of further classes; and we will run Master Classes with established professionals when they are available.
In our “Toes on the edge” project in collaboration with Bangkok Dance Academy, 10 young Australian contemporary dancers (aged 16-22) from Quantum Leap have been working with Artistic Director Ruth Osborne over several months in 2010, and will work intensively with choreographer Adam Wheeler in Canberra in January 2011. They will then travel to Bangkok and work alongside young Thai dancers who will have been working in the same way in Bangkok with choreographer Armin Saagundo. The three resulting short works will be presented in Bangkok, Chiangmai, and Khonkaen, together with workshops and other cultural activities. This is made possible as part of the tewentieth birthday celebrations of our long-standing partners Bangkok Dance Academy: the internal touring and presentation component is fully funded by them.
Quantum Leap at the Q is the flagship Canberra-based project of Quantum Leap for 2011. It will give approximately 50 auditioned participants aged 15-26 a six-month process with professional choreographers, composers and filmmakers to create a new full-length contemporary dance work around ideas which resonate for these young people. It will be a crucial high-level project for all participants, as well as for QL2’s public profile. Performed at The Q, Queanbeyan, it will be different in form and structure to previous Quantum Leap major works. Rather than a single unified, dance work, it will be three separate stand-alone works, by different choreographers. This gives both dancers and audiences a range of experiences within a season of serious dance performance, while also enabling practical subgroups to work on specific subthemes and for sections of the work to be re-used in other projects as noted above.
We will continue to broaden our Visiting Dancer program, which places Canberra as a centre of contemporary dance activity, as well as exposing Canberra dancers to aspirational achievers and future professional networks. For the final month of development and performance of Quantum Leap at the Q, we will invite:
· Up to four dancers from Bangkok Dance Academy in Thailand who were part of the Toes on the Edge project in January 2011;
· One of Youth Dance England’s ‘National Young Dance Ambassadors’;
· Up to four dancers from other companies in the Australian Youth Dance Companies Group;
· Up to four dancers currently in tertiary study.
We will select and support 4-6 Quantum Leapers to be part of Liz Lea’s new work In Flight, which will have separate sections involving community, youth, and professional dancers. This will be performed at the National Library of Australia in May as part of their public program. We will also assist Liz — as a QL2 Associate Director — with a Grant of Space for the youth and professional components of the work.
In the Hot to Trot young choreographers’ program, we will identify up to 10 experienced Quantum Leapers who have shown choreographic aptitude, and give them space and mentoring to work with a group of dancers over up to ten months, producing a short work for performance. This will then lead to a November performance season in our theatre. Targeted at Quantum Leapers interested in a dance career, it will give them significant experience to inform their choices.
In the Still Moves project, Quantum Leapers will work with photographer Lorna Sim to develop their own dance photography skills, and their ability to collaborate with a photographer as a dancer or choreographer to produce dance photos.
The Leadership Development Program will involve Quantum Leapers as mentored leaders and assistants in various workshops and other projects, to assist with concept development in programming, and policy development. The projects will include development and performance of a short health promotion performance for festivals and events. Some participants will take special responsibility for aspects of project management, preparing them for leadership roles in youth dance projects. For Quantum Leapers who do not leave Canberra, or who return after tertiary study, we aim to groom suitable candidates as potential QL2 Board members.
The On Course tertiary program will be an opportunity for up to 16 current tertiary dance students, including ex-Quantum Leapers, to build on composition skills learnt at university, develop their choreographic ideas in a supportive environment, and present work to Canberra audiences. They will choreograph on each other and older Quantum Leapers. It will also provide vocational support, build dance networks outside their particular university, encourage local dancers to work with a wide range of styles, and develop Canberra’s image as a centre for dance creation. This will run over a two-week development and rehearsal period at the end of the tertiary year, culminating in a short performance season in our theatre.
In our Visiting Dancer program, tertiary students and interstate dancerswork in a QL2 project as dancers for several weeks, and Tertiary secondments enable tertiary students to work to within QL2 projects in supporting roles. This provides industry experience to tertiary dance students, while increasing the profile of professional youth dance practice and Canberra as a site for arts practice.
We will work with tertiary dance graduates through industry-focussed programs that support their transition into the professional arena. We aim to encourage emerging ACT artists back to Canberra for part of their practice, while bringing participants from all over Australia who will see Canberra as part of their potential dance future. This builds important networks, creates new dance performances for the ACT, and is already helping invigorate the local independent dance scene. Our focus on programs that support tertiary and post tertiary dancers assures continuity in the development of a career.
Soft Landing is a continuation of our previous over-subscribed graduate development programs. It will be promoted to young adult tertiary dance graduates originating from Canberra and around the country, in their first two years out of university. Assisted with a travel subsidy, they will receive intensive support in the transition from tertiary training to professional dance practice, encouraging their return to Canberra to create and perform.
Soft Landing 2011 will involve 8–12 young adult graduates, to prepare them for industry work as dancers and develop their ability to respond professionally. They will work with, and be challenged by, Solon Ulbrich and Amelia McQueen for four weeks; exploring key aspects of their potential dance career while working on technique, concepts and material. The project will produce a short in-progress showing, which will be presented in our theatre with a forum to stimulate exchange between dancers and audiences.
We offer Grants of Space to young emerging dance artists where this aligns with our goals. They also fulfill our obligations to the ACT community and ACT Government to provide wider access to our physical resources. They will be curated by the Artistic Director in response to project proposals. Space will be offered in times not programmed by the Centre's core programs.
Grants of Space can alsoprovide opportunities for QL2 participants to benefit from emerging, mid-career and mature local and visiting dance professionals. First priority will be for dance or theatre projects that will directly benefit young people; and second priority will be access for professional dance artists to develop and present new work or develop skills. Associate Directors of QL2 may receive grants of space to pursue their own work as part of their engagement. Other projects with a positive contribution towards our goals may be considered for a partial subsidy of hire costs.
As Canberra has a shortage of suitably experienced and nationally-significant choreographers and project managers in dance, we have appointed Associate Directors Brian Lucas, Solon Ulbrich and Liz Lea, bringing each to Canberra several times during the year. They will continue in 2011, acting as a sounding board for the Artistic Director and Board, a key creative force working with Quantum Leap and graduates in specific projects, and assuring us of diversity of style, up to date contemporary arts practice and deep engagement with the national dance network. To retain these highly-experienced people, we offer them supported resource access for other projects while in Canberra.
We aim to enhance our national and international networks and raise the profile of Australian youth dance. Nationally, we will coordinate marketing activities of the Youth Dance Companies Group, producing a revised DVD and printed brochure promoting Australian youth dance company practice. Internationally, we will continue to develop networks and contacts developed during Ruth Osborne’s 2010 UK trip.
We will be a health promoting organisation promoting healthy environments — especially safe dance, healthy nutrition, body care and mental health — and building young people’s capacity to manage their health. We will develop performances delivering health messages for school and general audiences at the ACT Youth Dance Festival.
We will address access and equity, by keeping costs to participants low. We will also provide full or partial confidential Bursaries, supported by donations and philanthropic funding. Bursaries may be a helping hand for class fees for a term, right through to covering the full cost of projects and classes for a year. Bursaries are offered confidentially, and assessed by the Chair and Artistic Director.
We will also offer Scholarships for excellence in exceptional circumstances for unusual but costly one-off opportunities, based on merit. We select — from among the young people in our programs — young people of exceptional talent, commitment, and prospects for a career in dance; and offer them scholarships to reduce the costs of participation in intensive activities that will make a significant difference to their dance lives. These might include participating in conferences, working in exchange programs, or touring dance works — interstate or overseas. Scholarships are awarded by the Board, in the name of Australian dance pioneer Dame Peggy van Praagh whose legacy funds them.
We will provide group and individual tailored vocational guidance, development and mentoring to Quantum Leapers and their families, so they can make training and career choices best for their abilities and aspirations.