Editor: Supported by the Tanja Liedtke Foundation, QL2 Dance presented a 3-day intensive workshop series: “Inspiring Dance” in September 2014, led by Amelia McQueen and Kristina Chan. QL2 Associate Artist Jamie Winbank was one of 13 participants.
Below: 2002: “Twelfth floor” cast with Tanja Liedtke, in what is now the QL2 theatre.
I’ve always felt somewhat connected to Tanja Liedtke. As a Quantum Leaper in my first few years, I remember the theatre walls being painted half black, half green and seeing the chalk written on the walls and the lockers around. Back then I didn’t realize it was the rehearsal process of Tanja’s first major work Twelfth Floor; with artists in the studio that years later would become my mentors, colleagues and friends. It was again, during Soft Landing in 2012, when Life in Movement (the feature film documentary based on Tanja’s life) was released that I felt that connection reignite.
When the opportunity arose to attend QL2’s three day Tanja Liedtke workshops, it was an automatic and very enthusiastic “YES PLEASE!”.
Run by Tanja’s dancers Amelia McQueen (Twelfth Floor) and Kristina Chan (Twelfth Floor and Construct), the three day workshops focused on areas of composition, choreography and construction of performance inspired and guided by the time that these two dancers had spent with Tanja. Each day began with a technique-based class run by either Amelia and Kristina followed by repertoire from both Construct and Twelfth Floor. The choreography itself was an intricate challenge to master, but one well worth it with all 13 participants giving it a good hard go and reaping the sweaty rewards of finding their own individuality within the choreography. During the afternoon sessions different activities or tasks to generate and refine movement were undertaken, ranging from a game called ‘Gremlin’ (where one dancer would naturally find a movement impulse, refine it and the next dancer would have to match the original movement) to other tasks where choreography would be created from a specific conversation about first love or competition.
After three inspiring days, family members were invited to view a showing bringing together all the information and ideas generated between the facilitators and dancers. These two ten minute improvisations, both unique and vastly different, were moving tributes to the works that Tanja had created, one of them being here in the QL2 Theatre.
It was an incredibly opportunity to share the studio with two original cast mates of Tanja’s works. Their artistry is impeccable and I caught myself with my mouth gaping in awe several times watching them dance. As a teacher, I learnt an incredible amount from both Kristina and Amelia, they are definitely some of the best teachers in Australia. As a dancer and choreographer I was re-inspired to try new things and really go for it, to immerse myself in the work and really extract every ounce of juice that the idea has to offer.
This unique opportunity, offered to QL2 by the Tanja Liedtka Foundation, is one of the most rewarding workshops I’ve attended in a long time. I felt reinvigorated and re-inspired as an artist and cannot thank Amelia, Kristina, QL2 and The Tanja Liedtke Foundation enough for providing this workshop. — Jamie.