Qld's newest dance fest begins

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'[gameboy]. Photo by Human Imitation.
'[gameboy]. Photo by Human Imitation.

Queensland's newest dance festival – Dance 24 – gets underway this week, taking centre stage over two weeks at Metro Arts, West Village, West End, until June 1.

Offering an immersive experience that goes beyond the stage, the festival program includes interactive workshops, engaging discussions, industry networking events, and a celebration of the diverse expressions that shape the evolution of dance.

The mainstage program includes the world premieres of two new contemporary works: Matriachs and [gameboy].

Delving into the ancestral echoes of Indigenous womanhood, Matriarchs by Olivia Adams is an intimate contemporary dance work that reflects on the lived histories of past generations of First Nations women. As an up-and-coming Indigenous artist, Adams has previously performed as part of Karul Project’s production SILENCE, produced work for BlakDance, and collaborated with Bangarra Dance and Digi Youth Arts.

[gameboy] by Amy Zhang draws inspiration from Japanese game shows, video games and internet culture, exploring themes of competition and endurance. [gameboy] also features two of Australia’s most sought-after dancers, William "Billy" Keohavong and Ko Yamada (Winner of Red Bull Dance Your Style, 2022).

The festival will also feature a series of workshops and panels led by industry experts. Thomas E.S. Kelly, co-founder of Karul Projects, will lead a contemporary dance workshop exploring movement, technique and choreographic processes of contemporary dance and First Nations traditional dance.

'Matriachs'. Photo by Jade Ellis.
'Matriachs'. Photo by Jade Ellis.

Lisa Wilson (Studio1), Nerida Matthaei (Phluxus2 Dance Collective) and Wania Serce (Pink Matter) will contribute their industry experience to a panel discussion on developing dance practice into a viable business (Dance and Business in Practice); while AusDance Queensland will host a panel discussion on Building Diverse Dance Communities within the sector.

Also included in the program are one-off dance classes for dancers and dance enthusiasts to connect with renowned performers/teachers including: Heels Choreography with Kim Smit (Mad Dance House), Bollywood Dance with Andrea Lam (Dance Masala), and Breakdancing Basics with Leah Clark (Elements Collective).

Special community connection events at DANCE24 include a weekly Community Connect Mixer, offering artists and the dance community a chance to network and collaborate in a vibrant atmosphere; alongside an inside view of the critical process with Studio1’s Sandpit and Exchange events whereby the audience is privy to what goes on in the creative development process.

For more info, go here.

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