The innovative idea that gave birth to Echo

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When Covid-19 hit, the Australasian Dance Collective’s Youth Ensemble could have shut down for the duration. But that wasn’t what ADC felt was in the best interests of its young dancers. 

“We decided as a company that it was really important to offer continuity for the kids during these difficult few months – to give them a creative outlet and promote positive mindset and emotional regulation,” Australasian Dance Collective artistic director, Amy Hollingsworth, told Dance Australia, “especially when schools were shut and their other activities were cancelled. This was the one consistent thing in their world.”

Youth Ensemble director, Riannon McLean, asked the young members to write letters to each other with their creative choreographic ideas. This gave them the opportunity to develop and express their ideas more slowly. “In a time of instant communication, it was such a unique and enriching learning experience,” Hollingsworth noted.

Through this simple old-fashioned act of letter writing, communicating their choreographic ideas to each other by mail, the students also had a concrete starting point to begin the development of their solo material, inspired by each other and filled with imagination and possibilities. 

And in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown the Australasian Dance Collective’s Youth Ensemble dance program, Echo, was created. The films of those solo performances, produced and directed by the Youth Ensemble members and free of the constraints of stage, will be part of the program. The feature performances are two works from Riannon McLean and local independent dancer and choreographer, Michael Smith, presented by the Youth Ensemble’s 30 dancers.

Echo will be presented in the Cremorne Theatre at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, 28 and 29 August. The Australasian Dance Collective is also preforming Arc at Brisbane Festival in mid-Sept.

Find more information and buy tickets here. 

Echo – Australasian Dance Collective's Youth Ensemble from Australasian Dance Collective on Vimeo.


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