• Contestants in last year's Fast+Fresh competition.
    Contestants in last year's Fast+Fresh competition.

Fast+Fresh is uncovering an untapped pool of young creative talent, writes GERALDINE HIGGINSON.

 Fast+Fresh Dance is an exciting competition for young choreographers. Now in its seventh year, Fast+Fresh gives young choreographers the opportunity to showcase their work and be seen by industry professionals.Although part of the Short+Sweet family of festivals, Fast+Fresh Dance is co-ordinated by FORM Dance Projects and is just one example of the ways they foster and develop dance culture in Western Sydney.

 In 2013 Fast+Fresh Dance saw the works of 52 choreographers presented over four nights  The best works were selected to go into the final, which was judged by a panel including performance producer of The Voice, Marko Panzic, journalist Caroline Baum, independent dance artist Vicki van Hout and FORM Director, Annette McLernon.

 Panzic is returning to the competition this year and is looking forward to it. “What an awesome experience to judge Fast+Fresh Dance last year,” he says. “I got to witness so much up and coming young talent. The Fast+Fresh festival is such a great platform for young emerging dancers and choreographers, especially in western Sydney. I love the energy and enthusiasm of all the artists and think this is one of FORM’s best programs.”

 Last year’s winner of the “Most Outstanding Choreography” and “Best Group” awards was Kei Ishii for his work,A Memory.Kei first studied at the Queensland Dance School of Excellence. He went on to further his training in many styles at The Space in Melbourne, and focussed on contemporary dance for two years at Ev and Bow before his success at Fast+Fresh in 2013.

“Participating in Fast+Fresh Dance 2013 was a fantastic experience,” he says. “It was a great opportunity to be able to create my own work and really explore my own style. Before Fast+Fresh I was at full-time (dance) training, now I am part of Legs On The Wall’s production of Puncture and have also been doing small independent projects. It was a great help in the development process with Legs On The Wall and I was able to participate in the 2014 season of Short+Sweet Dance.”

 For anyone interested in stretching their choreographic wings and applying for Fast +Fresh, this is what 2013 winner Kei Ishii has to say: “The advice I would give young choreographers is not to be too hard on yourself: we are our worst critics. Just be confident with your choices and always explore different pathways. For example, if you feel you are stuck, try and use a different pathway than you are used to, and freestyle! It is the best tool you can have!”

 Entries are now open for Fast+Fresh Dance 2014.All styles of dance are welcomed and prizes are awarded in a number of categories. (See box.)

 Award winners will share in a prize pool that includes two secondments (one with with Sydney Dance Company and the other with Bangarra Dance Company), free classes with Urban Dance Centre and Sydney Dance Company Studios, dance gear, vouchers and magazine subscriptions.

To apply for Fast+Fresh 2014 visit www.form.org.au to download an application form. Choreographed works need to be five minutes or less, and must be choreographed and performed by people aged 21 and under. Applications are requested by DVD, Vimeo or Youtube format and entries close on Monday 13th October. Each entry will go through one of four heats at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta or the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith, during November 10to 13. Those selected from the heats enter the final, where they will be judged by a panel of industry experts on November 15.

Key Dates

Entries Close: Monday October13

Heats 1 to 4: November10 to 13

Final: November 15



* Best Male dancer

* Best Female Dancer

* Best Solo

* Best Duet

* Best Group

* Most Outstanding Choreography

* Audience Choice Award

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