INTERVIEW: Independent Artist Laura Boynes
One of Co3’s guest choreographers for the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth performance, Project NEXT, is independent artist Laura Boynes. Laura has been working with our the Ensemble to facilitate the creation of their latest performance, and to mentor the next generation of dancers. We talk to Laura about her experience as an independent artist, how movement can prompt conversations and what we can expect from Project NEXT.
Tell us a bit about your dance background.
I was born and raised in Canberra and started dancing around the age of 8. I learnt many different dance styles at the Canberra Dance Development Centre but found early on that I had a particular love for contemporary dance. In 2000, I started doing projects with Quantum Leap Youth Choreographic Ensemble (now Ql2). It was there that I really began understanding what a choreographic process was and how full-length contemporary dance works were put together. At the age of 12 I decided I was going to be a professional dancer and never looked back, both dance organisations provided me with the tools I needed to head on to study at University (WAAPA). I studied at WAAPA for four years including a final honours year with LINK Dance Company.
What does being an independent artist entail?
Being an independent dance artist means that you learn very quickly to become as versatile as possible. The more skills that you have the more employable you are. I currently work as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, community and disability arts facilitator. This lifestyle requires determination and you have to be willing to take a risk every now and again as your workplace and income are constantly shifting. It can be hard at times, but also an incredible way to live!
How do you think the performing arts helps to communicate thoughts and concepts?
The performing arts are an incredible medium for communicating ideas and issues. Movement is understood universally, as are the visual arts and music. I believe dance conveys emotions, states of tension and sensations that words cannot express. I like to make work that asks questions about social, environmental and political issues. I don’t have the answers to the questions I explore in these works but I believe art is a great way to promote conversation around important topics.
How has it been working with our Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth?
Developing work with the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth has been fantastic. They have so many ideas and so much energy to give to the project. I am really looking forward to the intensive rehearsal period in the lead up to the performance and seeing the other works in the program.
What can we expect from Project NEXT?
Project NEXT will be fresh and vibrant. The audience will view highly original re-imaginings by the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble of four existing contemporary works from Co3 by four highly regarded choreographers. All of the core ideas for choreography, costume, sound and narrative have come from the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth dancers and have been developed with a guest choreographer. Project NEXT will showcase the talent of the dancers while presenting a dynamic program.
Image by Stefan Gosatti.