Ed: In September and October 2017, QL2 Dance’s Artistic Director Ruth Osborne heads to the UK on a Churchill Fellowship, to “…research youth dance programs focused on career pathways, mentorship and creative collaborations.” While she is gone, Alison Plevey will be Acting Artistic Director of QL2 Dance.
ALISON: Later this week I step into some big shoes. The shoes of a woman who I greatly admire and who has been a significant influence and mentor — in my work in youth dance, as an independent artist and now company director.
As Ruth, our “national treasure”, embarks on her prestigious adventures across the United Kingdom, I reflect on the excitement, the butterflies, and the great honour it is to fill these shoes as Acting Artistic Director of QL2 Dance.
I met Ruth back in 2010 when she journeyed to my home town Bathurst to see no planet b, my first full length work since graduating from WAAPA, which I created with nine young artists from the Bathurst region supported by Local Stages BMEC. She immediately took interest and encouragement from the work I was doing here to develop youth dance practice and from there our mentoring, working and friendship relationship has flourished.
After participating later in 2010 in QL2’s Soft Landing — a transformative program for tertiary dance graduates — I continued my connection with QL2 as rehearsal assistant and Assistant to the Artistic Director across many junior and Quantum Leap projects. Opportunities to work alongside Ruth and Gary to ignite new programs including our education program Make A Move, as well as choreographing and manageing QL2 projects amidst my own works, has been formative and crucial development for my confidence and ability in building an arts career. Although I was never a Quantum Leaper, I feel like I am somehow more fortunate to have such important and committed connections to the company.
Like Ruth, I feel the importance of dance: its presentation, its participation, and its power to positively shape who we are and the world around us. As Director of a new company, Australian Dance Party, supported by QL2 Dance as Company in Residence, I hope to provide links between youth dance activity and building a strengthened professional dance community in Canberra. This ongoing partnership is vital and untameably exciting for dance in our blossoming city!
Taking up the reins to lead QL2, an organisation which forms and transforms so many people (young and not so young), is a great responsibility. I will no doubt be challenged, yet grow, cherish and enjoy every moment. I can’t wait!
Thank you to Ruth, Gary and the QL2 Board for confidence in me to step into these shoes. I only hope I can fill them… just with some new socks! And…as I jump around the studio with 48 young dancers for the upcoming junior project Not like the Others, I wish Ruth the trip of her lifetime. Bon voyage Ruth, we will whirlpool in your honour.