A month of go go going… Alison, QL2 & ADP

Ed: Alison Plevey was Acting Artistic Director of QL2 Dance for September and Octiober, while Ruth Osborne was on a Churchill Fellowship in the UK. She is also AD of QL2’s “Company in Residency”, ‘Australian Dance Party’.

“As I surface after a wonderfully busy, rewarding, challenging month or two at the helm of QL2 Dance and multi-tasking with some ADP works, I am breathing in and reflecting on successes, challenges and questions, something we all tend to cycle through as artists.

Stepping into the role of the wonderous Ruth Osborne (she ventured on her Churchill Fellowship and is now shortlisted for ACT Australian of the Year!!) was a great honour and adventure. I have cherished and been incredibly stimulated by taking on this role which is so important to many young people, the ACT community and youth dance practice in Australia and beyond.

from “Not like the others”. Photo: Lorna Sim

I feel very lucky during that time to have directed QL2’s Chaos project “Not like the others”, involving 47 young people aged between 8 and 18 years. It was a privilege to lead such a vibrant group of young people and skilled choreographic collaborators through this process. The show’s message of empowering difference a real representation of the socio-political conversations ever-present today. The learning that came out of this project, as well as the show itself, is for me rewarding beyond words.

Amidst collaborating with Gary and Amelie in the office (and Ruth from afar) planning for next years 20th Year of Quantum Leap, Make A Move 2018, class program development and kick starting Hot To Trot and On Course (shows are coming up!) my time as Acting AD flew by. I would like to thank Gary, Ruth and the board for the opportunity, responsibility and confidence you placed in me. My relationship with QL2 and its big loveable community is undying and I truly owe (as many of us do) so much to this incredible organisation. Thank you!

During my time as Acting AD, Australian Dance Party (ADP) was also in action with festival works ‘Spring Lantern’ at NightFest and ‘Seamless’ at Floriade Fringe. Here we lit up the flowers with our unexpected travelling dance and music improvisations and tackled the catwalk in a bid to unpack our often questionable, but inarguably important, relationship to fashion. I am grateful to QL2 Dance for supporting us with the space to create these works, and the flexibility to allow me to keep this part of my practice afloat.

“Seamless” by ADP at Floriade Fringe. Photo: Lorna Sim

In the last month there has been some news: ADP has been successful in receiving artsACT Project Funding for 2018 for new work ‘ENERGEIA’ and another through ACT Environment to create a series of short films aiming to change behaviour towards a zero emissions by 2050. I am immensely excited and grateful for these opportunities for our young company to grow, to make work and make a difference. Congratulations to other recipients CDT and Liz Lea, and I also acknowledge the hard work that many activists of the arts including the Childer’s Group and Arts Action Group has done in this space to encourage government to value project funding’s important role in our ACT arts ecology.

Coming up this week and for the next couple of Fridays in November, we take on the sculptural exaggerated body, moving in and around the gallery at the NGA’s HyperReal Nights. Then I am presenting some explorations of recent solo research at Critical Path’s Interchange Festival, and a UNSW Here We Are residency, followed by a stint in Bathurst for ‘FOUR’, a collection of new solo works by four Lingua Franca artists. Thank you to QL2 for supporting these activities through our residency in the studio and theatre spaces.

In December returning Quantum Leapers and tertiary dance students are back in town to create work, experiment and collaborate during ‘On Course’ at QL2. I’ll be mentoring, provoking and supporting these 10 choreographers through this adventure, alongside Ruth Osborne and Stephen Gow. I look forward to being a part of this process; learning, giving and opening out to ideas and possibility that this project enables.

And then…..

its 2018!

Alison Plevey

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About Alison Plevey

Alison is an award-winning choreographer and dance and physical artist based in Canberra. Her practice spans youth dance and theatre, education, cross-disciplinary collaborations, festival commissions, solo research and arts industry development in regional NSW and the ACT. Alison holds a first class honours degree from WAAPA. She is a member of The Childer’s Group, an independent arts advocacy group in Canberra. Recent works include ‘Mine!’ (ACT National Science Week 2017), ‘Nervous’ at Mount Stromlo Observatory, and ‘Strings Attached’ at New Acton, ‘Dancing with Drones’ (Performance Space LiveWorks 2015), ‘Shake It’ (Art, Not Apart Festival 2017), ‘Autonomous’ (You Are Here Festival 2017), ‘Sprout’ (Art, Not Apart Festival 2016), ‘Heatwave’ (Dance on the Edge 2016), ‘Johnny Castellano is Mine’ (The Street Theatre 2014), ‘WORK IT’ (Art, Not Apart and You Are Here Festivals 2015). Alison is Co-Director of dance and physical theatre company Lingua Franca with Adam Deusien. Based in Bathurst they create visceral original performance engaging professional, emerging and community artists. Their recent work ‘unsustainable behaviour’ was presented at the Regional Arts Australian Conference, ArtLands Dubbo 2016). Alison is Leader of new Canberra company Australian Dance Party, driven by her ongoing study of dance as a universal communicative medium and a powerful practice for humanity to experience, debate and celebrate. The Party is an evolution of her work as a solo artist and inspired collaborations with diverse artists in Canberra. She aims to build the sustainability of professional dance in our political capital and legitimise the role of the arts in our contemporary context.