QL2 is taking over the world one country at a time! OK, maybe we’re not taking over the world but we’re certainly spreading the message of dance to as many places as we can.
Every two years we aim to travel either nationally or internationally to perform or attend workshops or festivals. So far the QL2 passport has stamps from Jamaica, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand. From July 1st to 14th we’ll be adding another stamp for Thailand and a new fresh stamp for London and Glasgow with 8 dancers forming the tour party along with Ruth Osborne and myself, Jamie Winbank, as volunteer Tour Manager.
So where did this all begin?
QL2 was invited to perform and attend at the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival (CYDF) in Glasgow to celebrate the city’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games (A ‘Get Scotland Dancing’ Commission as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.) According to their website,
“around 400 talented young dancers (36 groups) from across the Commonwealth – Australia, Canada, England, India, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – will come together to celebrate the magic of youth dance for three performances, a photographic exhibition and three day’s full of action packed workshops with teachers and tutors from around the world.”
While the youth of the Commonwealth will be dancing in workshops, there is also a strong workshop series for the group leaders including a session presented by Ruth Osborne and assisted by Jamie Winbank on “boys in dance”.
Once the CYDF was locked in, we thought that flying Canberra to Glasgow, albeit a great chance to catchup on the latest blockbusters on the inflight entertainment, was not a really viable option both time wise and financially. So we put our extremely creative heads together to make a more viable tour, which included stops in London and Bangkok.
QL2 has a strong connection with Bangkok. We have partnered with Bangkok Dance Academy (BDA) for 12 years, with young Thai dancers coming to Canberra as part of our Visiting Dancer program in projects of QL2; and then our 2011 return exchange to Thailand, “Toes On The Edge – QL2 Across Thailand”. They even ended up on TV in Thailand — there is a snip here.
So this time BDA is organising a bunch of activities there, including the 8 dancers from QL2 working with dancers from BDA under the creative eyes of Ruth, Jamie and Lordfai Pachimsawat to develop a new short work which will premiere on Saturday 5 July in Bangkok.
After a short but jam packed stop in Bangkok, the tour party will head across to London for some workshops and performances — and maybe some non-dance tourist activities — before heading up to Glasgow for CYDF.
Our tour dancers are Alana Stenning, Alex Abbot, Darcy Reed, Luke Fryer, Maddy Towler-Lovell, Nasim Patel, Oonagh Slater, and Ryan Stone. They will be performing a newly created work, Cinders, choreographed by ex-Quantum Leaper James Batchelor. As Maddy Towler-Lovell says:
“The dance work we have created explores the Utopian complex and many issues that surround it- the contradiction between the impossibility of a Utopia and continuous human progress and improvement. Movement is used as a medium to explore the power, possibilities and limitations of human perception.”
A version of Cinders will be performed in Bangkok, and in Glasgow.
And then when the dancers return to Canberra, they will hit the floor running into final rehearsals for the Boundless season, where Cinders will feature in the triple bill season also featuring Samsara by Dean Cross and The Bigger Picture by Danielle Micich.
You can book for Boundless now, direct with Canberra Theatre. See you there! Or if you are in Bangkok, London or Glasgow when we are in town — come and say hello!
QL2 Dance’s “Boundless Dance Exchange” is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australia-Thailand Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.