INTERVIEW: Ella-Rose Trew on Project NEXT
Co3’s Associate Artist Ella-Rose Trew has been facilitating the development of our Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth‘s newest work, Project NEXT. We chat to Ella-Rose about the dancers, what the process of choreography is like and how Project NEXT will give us an insight into the young ensemble’s creative voice.
Usually you’re in the studio dancing, so what is the role reversal like being a guest choreographer?
I’m not sure I can necessarily claim the title of choreographer in this instance! Yes, I am in the studio working with the young dancers each week, but the work is made up entirely of their choreography, their small dances, their thoughts, their offerings.
To be on the outside and see what they have to offer has been a privilege. To watch them question and challenge themselves, to work together as a team and grow as movers, makers and shakers has been wonderful. I feel like I get to help them put together a puzzle, of which they have created all the pieces.
Being a choreographic leader is not a familiar place for me and every week it challenges me, asks me to look at things differently, and through this I hope I am growing alongside them.
How do you best facilitate the Ensemble to create their own movement?
We began our process by watching the original work on video. From this the dancers pulled out what they were drawn to; music as the mind of the piece, an extreme physicality, a wildness, an animalistic quality that morphed in to electrically charged humans. We worked together to build tasks that could explore these ideas physically. Sometimes we’d try a task and it would fall flat on its face, but this is the patience of a creative development. Other times the task would generate a whole other perspective, questions to be asked or a problem to be solved.
I think the most important thing for me has been to run with their interests, that’s when they’re most engaged, and to find a way to challenge what they already know.
Tell us a bit about the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth ensemble?
Our Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble is made up of approximately 60 young people between the ages of 7 and 18 years old. Some of the ensemble join us with a number of years dance training, and for others this is their first experience in dance, which makes such an interesting group. We meet every Sunday and during the school holidays, working together to build a community of creative thinkers, makers, movers, performers, leaders and collaborators.
Whilst the focus for this past term has been on building towards our main performance season Project NEXT, throughout the year we see the youth ensemble working alongside Co3 company dancers in the studio, LINK Dance Company and TRACKSUIT at the Fremantle Arts Centre, participating in national exchanges with QL2 Youth Dance in Canberra and continuing to spread the Act-Belong-Commit message.
Can you provide a bit of background to your piece in Project NEXT?
For Project NEXT we have been tasked with reimagining a work with the youth that the professional Co3 Company has performed.
I’m working alongside 14 wonderful young people to reimagine Larissa McGowan’s work Transducer, which was first performed by Co3 in our launch season, re:Loaded, in October 2015. A ‘transducer’ is a device that transforms one form of energy to another. Each Sunday we have spent time exploring different energy forms (elastic potential, momentum, sound, wind, water, light, heat, magnetic), their effect on the body, how they could be physicalized, captured, transformed, transported and expressed and what they meant to the dancers.
What will audiences be in for when they see Project NEXT?
Project NEXT provides an insight into the young ensemble’s creative voice. We are privy to a glimpse of how they see the world, what they believe to be important and what they want to share with their audience.
The original works have provided a stepping stone for them to grow. Alongside their choreographers, they have brought to life the themes and ideas that they’ve drawn from the original works, challenging themselves to delve deeper and find something other.
Expect to be taken to micro-societies with unique beings, to experience the beauty and pain and the love and loss of Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, witness a convoluted race to the finish line and be drawn in by a conjurer of energy.
If you would like to register for the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble, register here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Image by Stefan Gosatti.