LINK celebrates 20 years
To celebrate LINK Dance Company’s 20th anniversary year, Artistic Director Michael Whaites is taking his young dancers to the State Theatre Centre in Perth at the end of April to perform In Your God, a four-night season of startlingly original contemporary dance.
LINK is a graduate dance company, unique in Australia, based at the internationally renowned Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University.
LINK offers a select group of graduate dancers a transition year between undergraduate training and the profession. It was established in 2002 as an innovative research project within WAAPA’s Dance Department; over time it has evolved into a resident company, with a commitment to the creation of new works and to the development of dance industry partnerships that support student outcomes. Michael Whaites has been the company's leader since 2006, making him one of Australia’s longest-serving artistic directors.
From 2022, LINK will become part of the new Bachelor of Performing Arts Honours (W92).
In Your God is described as a "double bill if lip-synching, outrageous behaviour and exquisite dancing" and features two exciting new works by Whaites and James Welsby set to original music by WAAPA Music graduate Peter McAvan.
The lip-synching comes courtesy of James Welsby’s piece, Ultimate Form.
“Lip synching is a choreographic tool because of its special mode of operating as both verbal and physical communication,” explains the multi-faceted arts practitioner, whose previous experience as a drag queen informs the way popular cuture is fed through the choreographic process.
Since 2008, Welsby has been a performer, director and choreographer of contemporary dance, drag and cabaret. In 2015 he founded the award-winning cabaret company Yummy, and since then has produced and directed eight full-length productions which have toured to festivals both here in Australia and overseas.
“Ultimate Form will explore heightened states of existing, our most fully realised versions of ourselves, and self-actualisation as a spiritual imperative.”
Whaites’ new work for In Your God is also about spirituality, with a focus on finding one’s spiritual self in nature. Whaites describes how the choreographic process started with the question, “Who do you look up to?”, and expanded to explore the energy and spirits of gods and goddesses in dance.
'In Your God' will be presented from Wed 27 to April 30. Info: ptt.wa.gov.au