CO.LAB — physical research and creative investigation

After a busy year with performance projects, Strings Attached, Nervous and Versailles, Australian Dance Party is this year running a new weekly program focusing on creative practice and collaborative process, supported by QL2 Dance.

Janine Proost and Gabe Comerford in development of ‘Strings Attached’, August 2016

“CO.LAB” which will run on Fridays 10am-4pm at QL2 Dance Studio is:

“a space for invited professional dance artists and creative collaborators to engage in physical research, artistic exchange and processes experimentation.”

Beginning with thematic proposals or ‘jumping-off-points’ that I offer, artists follow their interests and deepen their personal and group creative investigations. These sessions may inform the development of new creative projects, methodologies and future performance endeavours of Australian Dance Party.

This approach is driven by a need to creatively engage and grow our professional dance connections, and practice cross arts collaborative skills. Young and emerging artists —including selected QL2 alumni and tertiary graduates — will also be invited to fuel dance careers for young Canberra artists.

As initiator of this program I am eager to see and experience the developments from this lab contribute to an engaged performing/dance community, extending, questioning and practicing not yet imagined.

Week 3 of CO.LAB: jamming with musos from Ample Sample

Australian Dance Party is in its second year as company in residence at QL2 Dance. I thank the staff and board for their support in enabling CO.LAB to emerge. — Alison Plevey

Restoring faith in the work: Eliza Sanders with “Pedal.Peddle”

ED: Eliza Sanders was part of many projects at QL2 before and during her studies at NZSD; and was the recipient of a Curated Residency at QL2 Dance in 2015.

“Hello world, here is my first ever blog entry. It’s long and rambly, as things by me tend to be. Although the idea of writing something people might read makes me feel sick, as usual, the things Ruth and Gary make me do tend to teach me a lot. This has been a very helpful process of reflection and self-evaluation as I try to find my feet as an independent dance creator.”

Eliza Sanders. PHOTO: Stephen A’Court.

Eliza Sanders, by Stephen A’Court.

I used the Curated Residency opportunity to produce and perform two shows of my new full-length solo work Pedal.Peddle. I created the work during the second half of 2014 while I was coming to the end of three years training at the New Zealand School of Dance. A few months before I returned to Canberra I premiered Pedal.Peddle in Wellington with the help of Battleground Productions.

For me, the purpose of this residency at QL2 was to learn about what it takes to produce and promote a show through my own production company, House of Sand, and to have the experience of remounting a work in a new space. I was also keen to bring what I had learned in my three years away back to Canberra, to share my experiences with the people who had supported me in my early training and my life before I moved.

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Freedom to make, freedom to edit: Alana on dance film

[ED: Alana Stenning had a Curated Residency at QL2 in January 2016]

I started dancing with QL2 when I was 15 and danced in Quantum Leap, Hot to Trot and On Course as much as possible from 2010 until I left Canberra for tertiary dance study at the Adelaide College of the Arts in 2015.

“Coming back to QL2 is so important for me because it reminds me of where and why I started and what I love about dancing so much.”

I came back to Canberra to show a film in On Course in December 2015, and received a lot of really positive feedback. Ruth was telling us all that we would be able to use the space at QL2 over the break and that was something that really interested me. I was really keen to keep experimenting with film and work with the other returning Quantum Leapers. Oonagh [Slater], Ryan [Stone] and I have been dancing together for years so it just seemed like a really normal thing to be dancing with them again while I was back in Canberra for Christmas. Continue reading

sprouting new energy for new projects…

Ed: Alison Plevey is the recipient of  a Curated Residency at QL2 to support several projects across the whole of 2016.

“It has been an energised start to 2016, with many projects on the go in the studio and out. During Canberra’s busy arts festival time I have worked collaboratively with awesome local artists creating ‘Autumn Lantern‘ for Enlighten and ‘Sprout‘ for Art, Not Apart amidst commencing QL2 classes and ‘Connected’ Quantum Leap at the Playhouse rehearsals.

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Autumn Lantern at Enlighten Festival, was a joy to create and perform amidst a handful of great artists; violinist Michael Liu, dancers Olivia Fyfe, Debora Di Centa and Susanna Defraia and guitarist Tyson Jones. The costumes had us dipped head to toe in white and trimmed with illuminating hooped skirts — a huge component for the success of this piece. Thanks to Hemmi and Tanya Voges! Continue reading

Dancing with drones and jewels

Ed: Alison Plevey is a QL2 Associate Artist: deeply enmeshed with our programs for young people. She receives Curated Residency access throughout the year as part of our support for local independent dance artists.

Alongside the chaos of creating for QL2’s All the things, this past month I have engaged in some rather out of the ordinary projects, involving some quirky external players and objects.

Its not often that a dance artist, or anyone for that matter would see themselves playing and moving with a drone. I get to!

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Dean talks about not talking about creating new dance

Canberra-based but peripatetic dance artist Dean Cross takes up two Curated Residencies at QL2 Dance this month. In the first, he is working on the very first  research and development phase for a new contemporary dance work choreographed and performed by himslef, and local dancer Jack Riley.

“Conceptually the work will be looking at our similarities and differences as people who are separated by ten years, whilst finding both in a shared and non-shared physical language.”

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