The Line – a shared history deeply soaked in place, land and memory

The Line is a story of segregation, confinement, abandonment and cross-racial relationships loosely-set in the 1930s in Perth. Co-created by Artistic Director Raewyn Hill and Co:3 Australia Associate Artist Mark Howett this powerful dance-theatre work draws on the rich history that resulted from the enforcement of the prohibited areas for Aboriginal people in the City of Perth and other areas of Western Australian between 1927 and 1954.

On 18 March 1927, the Governor of Western Australia relied on the 1905 Act to declare the City of Perth a Prohibited Area for Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people now committed an offence if they came within a boundary of approximately five square kilometres encompassing the city, unless they could show they were in ‘lawful employment’. In an attempt to discourage ‘camp natives’ from loitering, Chief Protector of Aboriginals, AO Neville, introduced a special ‘native pass’ to allow those Aboriginal people who had ‘legitimate reason’ to pass through the city.

During one of their regular Co:3 collaborations Mark Howett relayed the story of the Prohibited Area to Raewyn Hill. They realised there was an opportunity for Co:3 to bring to life an important local story, reflective of national and international experiences of racial segregation.

The Line also includes references to White City, a notorious entertainment area behind the Supreme Court Gardens, featuring swings, games of chance, boxing, log chopping, bands, canned music and dancing. It was popular with Perth’s indigenous people as well as the white population and considered a ‘gambling blot’ on the whole state, a den of inequity, a magnet for larrikins and loafers and a terrible menace to the youth of the city.

The 1927 Prohibited Area declaration, compelling those indigenous people not on “lawful business” to leave the city, gave Neville the excuse he needed to control the movements of Aborigines in White City and the Prohibited Areas.

Howett and Hill along with Co:3 dancers Andrew Searle and Katherine Gurr and Guest Artist, Noongar dancer, Ian Wilkes have researched the period together during the development of the work. They have drawn on information in the State Records; Stephen Kinnane’s family memoir ‘Shadow Lines’; and consulted with elders including Lynette Narkle, Richard Walley, Darryl Kickett and author Professor Anna Haebich.

Raewyn Hill said, “The Line began with us looking at the Prohibited Area, but the work initiates a global conversation about separation, segregation, and social expectations. We discuss humanity, and the quality of being humane, privilege and trauma, truth and listening, and importantly The Line is an opportunity for us to acknowledging the history that lives in the veins of so many of us that reside in our glorious city. “

“I believe, that in order to grow one has to go through a journey of truth telling, and to do that there needs to be acknowledgment, recognition and compassion. It is crucial so that that we actually start having a conversation about healing and equality.”

Mark Howett said that what he finds intriguing are the parallels between the enforcement of the prohibited areas and recent State initiatives to protect indigenous youth. For instance, the 2003 curfew that gave police and community development officers authority to enforce powers under the Child Welfare Act to remove unaccompanied children and young people from Northbridge in Perth’s CBD after 10pm. These measures to keep youths off inner-city streets in Perth were slammed for unfairly singling out Aborigines.

The Line investigates a difficult and sensitive subject, the performance is imbued with Hill’s distinctive image and movement language, Howett’s impeccably directed story and song, alongside humour, sarcasm and comedy. Co3’s cast are joined on stage with live accompaniment by Co:3 Associate Artist and award-winning musician Eden Mulholland and internationally renowned classical accordionist, James Crabb.

The Line shifts and shudders with the strength of contemporary voice, consciously echoing with the energy and movement of an unjust and painful past. A living history, a line that connects to an experience of the local community that is deeply soaked into place, land and memory.

 

The Line

Dates: 15 – 19 May 2019

Venue: Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia

Performances: 15 ­– 18 May, 7:30pm; 19 May, 4pm

Tickets: Perth Theatre Trust  www.ptt.wa.gov.au $25-$55

 

Media Contact

Tracy Routledge tracy@trpr.com.au  or 0412 223 221

Can we work together to maximise the performance of both dancers and athletes?

From Dance Informa.

Improving performance fitness and stamina, preventing injury and decreasing recovery time is something professional athletes and dancers have in common. Co3, a flagship contemporary dance company in Perth, and the West Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS), have entered into an innovative partnership to maximise the performance of athletes and dancers. Dance Informa spoke with Sacha Fulton, physiologist at WAIS, and Co3 Executive Director Richard Longbottom to find out more.

Co3 dancers at WAIS. Photo by Emma Fishwick.

“Raewyn Hill, our artistic director, has always been interested in devising new ways of supporting the training and development of the dancers within the company,” Longbottom says. “The initial residency was around collaboration and exchange, giving our dancers exposure to some of the best training facilities, coaches and programs in the country. And as well, it was a chance for WAIS staff and athletes to see a contemporary dance company in action and to stimulate dialogue around the athleticism required of contemporary dancers. During the week, our dancers also had the opportunity to share some training with athletes, including time with the synchronised swimming team, the diving team, a swimming session and with the gymnastics squad.”

He adds, “We did have some exciting results from when our dancers joined in a session in the diving pool. One of our team had a bit of an interesting entry into the water. Not quite as smooth as it could have been.”

Longbottom says that dancers were impressed by WAIS, that it was clear that it was set up as a centre focused on the well-being of athletes. He says there were “amazing facilities, expert coaches, nutritionists and support teams. Everything was set up to maximise the potential of the athletes who trained there, in order for them to hone their skills necessary to compete at the highest level. The conversation continues around learning and sharing training methods, and performance preparation and psychology.”

Drawing on the scientific expertise gathered over many years at WAIS means the dance community may not have to duplicate research transferable from an athletic context to a dance context. There is potential for this collaboration to change daily practice and industry standards for training and supporting dancers.

Photo by Emma Fishwick.

“WAIS and Co3 see a bright future for this collaboration,” says Fulton. “In the future, Co3 dancers will attend WAIS on a weekly basis for a yoga session, which will also be opened up to all WAIS staff and athletes. In return, the Co3 dancers will be able to use some of the WAIS facilities, such as the Recovery Centre.”

Fulton continues, “The level of fun and enjoyment from both the Co3 dancers and the WAIS athletes was a pleasant surprise.”

The benefits of learning other forms of physical training to support your primary practice are well known; learning contrasting movement styles helps clarify each style or form. This collaboration between WAIS and Co3 sets the stage for other similar collaborations and knowledge sharing across the country.

 

For more information, visit Co3 at co3.org.au and West Australian Institute of Sport at www.wais.org.au

Images by Emma Fishwick.

INTERVIEW: The Farm Co-Directors Gavin Webber & Grayson Millwood

With Frank Enstein opening tomorrow on the Gold Coast, and headlining Bleach* Festival, we chat with Gold Coast-based Co-Directors of The Farm, Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood. Read on to learn more about their choreographic style, why they decided to create Frank Enstein, and what it’s like to collaborate with the Co3 dancers.

FRANK GC-08279(1)

 

What prompted you to create this work?

Frank Enstein started, as so many of these things do, with a long conversation about shared fascinations. In this case it stemmed from under-utilised ideas from previous works in Europe, but didn’t become “this” work until Daniel Monks joined us. With Daniel’s unique take on the role of Frank, the work moved from ‘shared fascinations’ to an urgently unfolding work that needed to be made.

 

How does the production bring something new to the storyline?

In the original story, the monster feels shunned by society, unworthy of love or even companionship. In our version we ask, what if this is how the doctor feels, animating his monsters in an attempt to create love and find acceptance?

Having the role of a brilliant but lonely Dr. Enstein played by a performer with a disability does give a unique take on the work but our interest lies in the universal experience of feeling unworthy.

The themes in Frankenstein are so rich that they easily encompass our totally different take on the story, but as far as the plot line goes, we kind of left that behind in week one.

 

How would you describe your choreographic style?

We’d like to think that it is always specific to the show we are working on, but of course there are interests that span all of our work, such as humour, danger and humanity. Choreography is always created in response to the themes of a work rather than aesthetics and we have a strong sense of dramaturgy at all times. We also equally value art that is both high and low.

 

FRANK GC-08356

What’s it like working with Co3 dancers? 

Co3 dancers rock! We have worked with them before, and we keep coming back for more. Specifically for Frank Enstein, Talitha, Zachary and Andrew make the perfect monsters because they are inhumanly good at what they do. It was an early decision that the monsters would be hyper-able bodied so it’s lucky we’re working with Co3 because it’s hard to match their level of physicality.

 

What kinds of themes are explored in this work?

Self acceptance is the biggie. It is central to every motivation for the characters. When we started we thought about what we would like to say to our children when they get a bit older and we wanted to let them know they were okay being themselves, they didn’t need to match everybody else to be loveable. There are other things we are dealing with such as isolation and what is real and authentic versus artificial, but in the end we will always veer back to the need for self acceptance.

 

See the Co3 dancers in Frank Enstein, at the Arts Centre Gold Coast 31 March – 1 April, and at the State Theatre Centre WA in the Studio Underground from 5 April – 8 April, 7.30pm.

BOOK TICKETS NOW!

 

Images by Michael Maclean.

 

INTERVIEW: Andrew Searle in Frank Enstein

With Frank Enstein opening in just two weeks at the State Theatre Centre WA, we chat to Andrew about performing in the show, working with actor Daniel Monks, and what to expect in this retelling of a much-beloved tale. Catch Andrew in Frank Enstein when he performs at Bleach* Festival on the Gold Coat from 31 March – 1 April, and in Perth at the Studio Underground from 5 – 8 April.FRANK_Portraits_002_AndrewSearle

 

Tell us a bit about your role in the show.

My role is Frank’s first creation that he is initially super excited to meet, and they form an instant friendship. He helps Frank to build a new creation and remains his trusted and often rebellious counterpart for the rest of the show, before finding his own companion.

 

How do you get into the mindset of your character before a show?

It’s very easy to portray my character with Daniel (who plays Frank) as he is so enthusiastic in his role. It makes it very easy to bounce off each other. To get into the right mindset, I usually take some time for myself before a show to focus in, but I also connect with my fellow dancers to get in to character.

 

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

Not really, I just take some time to really focus in and prepare my mind and body before a performance.

 

What is it like working with Gavin and Grayson at The Farm?

I enjoy working with Gav and Grayson because although their approach can be loose at times, their vision for the end product is always very specific and they really know how to craft the work. Their collective performance experience has shaped them into two very effective theatre-makers.

I also really enjoy the physicality of The Farm’s repertoire and having worked with Gavin in many physical-theatre oriented works, I find the style very enjoyable. It challenges me as a performer to engage more in performance.

 

How has your experience differed from typical dance works to this one, which has an actor?

I have worked with actors in the past and always find it very rewarding to see and learn from how they approach the work. As dancers we often work from the body first, however in most cases actors will let their mind dictate their performance so it’s always nice to see the marriage of these two approaches in creative development and performance.

 

What can audiences expect from this retelling of Frankenstein?

Audiences can expect a fun and theatrical look into the hunt for companionship and the human desire to be liked, have friends and find love. It’s got a bit of everything for everyone and is a fun retelling of an old classic for all ages.

 

 

See Andrew in Frank Enstein, on at the State Theatre Centre WA at the Studio Underground from 5 April – 8 April, 7.30pm.

BOOK TICKETS NOW!

 

Images by Claudio Kirac and Michael Maclean.

INTERVIEW: Talitha Maslin in Frank Enstein

Our dancers, Andrew Searle, Talitha Maslin and Zachary Lopez, are currently on the Gold Coast in rehearsals with The Farm for Frank Enstein. This collaboration sees Co3 performing at Bleach* Festival on 31 March – 1 April, before coming back to the West to perform at the State Theatre Centre at the Studio Underground from 5 – 8 April.

We chatted to Talitha about the show, her character and what it’s like working with maverick directors, Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood, over at The Farm.

 

Tell us a bit about your role in the show.THEFARM_Frank_HiRes_FINAL1

I play Frank’s creation. I am inspired by the character Liz, who Frank falls in love with at first sight but never thinks he could talk to her or that she would want to be with him due to his physical appearance. My character is a little scary as she is unable to control her body and falls madly, obsessively in love with Frank when she wakes up.

 

How do you get into the mindset of your character before a show?

I lay on the slab for quite a while during the show before I come to life so it is easy for me to inhabit the character coming to life. The beauty in playing a creation is that the emotional journey isn’t linear, it has the ability to explore and change ideas and emotions rapidly. I think we have all been cast in roles that allow us to bring our own interpretation to the character so it gives the opportunity to inhabit them and transform in to them.

 

Do you find the choreography challenging?

Yes, there is an extreme physicality that I explore during my creation which is very challenging, but I think that is what makes it beautiful. Also shifting in and out of conscious states and what that means during different sections of the work is interesting as it really changes the way the physicality is presented. I also do a lot of lifting which presents it’s own challenge in strength but also communication between performers. The best part is, I get to live out a commercial dance fantasy – I never thought there would be a place for such over-the-top Jazzy movement in a contemporary work but the amazing thing about dance or physical theatre, especially in a show that caters for young audiences, is that anything is possible.

 

What is it like working with The Farm?

Very rewarding. Not only do I get to contribute with what I am doing physically and with my character, but I also have input in the work, in the structure, the dramaturgy and we discuss everybody’s ideas and offerings so I feel like I am always learning.

There are also times where I get left to my own devices so it is great way to learn how to work efficiently and effectively so when we come back together we have solid ideas to present and dissect.

 

How did your experience differ from typical dance works, to this one which has an actor?

This question is interesting for me as I have been in works previously that have involved text and more formal ‘acting’ skills, so I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily new or different for me. In saying that, having an actor’s perspective in the creative process is the most interesting part. Daniel sees the work in a different way, he talks about his character in a different way and I feel I get to learn about a new form of communication in the creative process.

It is also fascinating as he has a physical disability and getting to see him deal with that. We as the dancers need to adapt very rapidly during partnering and when forming our physical relationships to him, I think that is what sets Frank Enstein apart from other works for me, regardless of the fact that he is an actor.

 

What can audiences expect from this retelling of Frankenstein?

I think they can expect to see a multi-layered love story. A story equipped with just the right amount of humour, horror and sadness. An interpretation of Mary Shelley’s beautiful story that brings us back to ourselves and allows us to question what makes us human, our desires and need for companionship.

 

See Talitha in Frank Enstein, on at the State Theatre Centre WA at the Studio Underground from 5 April – 8 April, 7.30pm.

BOOK TICKETS NOW!

 

Images by Claudio Kirac.

INTERVIEW: Ella-Rose Trew on her new role as Associate Artist

Co3 dancer Ella-Rose Trew has started an exciting new role this year as Associate Artist, working across the company in our three main areas; Company, youth and education. Alongside performing with the company, Ella-Rose will also be involved with Co:Youth, our Co:Dance school holiday workshops and furthering the development of our education programs.

Ella-Rose gave us an insight into what she has planned for 2017, and why engaging young people in the arts is so important.

 

Tell us about your new role as Associate Artist. 

As the Associate Artist at Co3 I have been given the opportunity to broaden my skills through engaging with the company through its three main branches; the professional company, the youth ensemble and the education arm.

Throughout the year I will work with the main ensemble to develop new works with Raewyn Hill and Chrissie Parrott and will perform in Raewyn’s full-length work THE ZONE at the State Theatre Centre this September. I will also get to work alongside Richard Longbottom with the Co:Youth Ensemble and the Elite Training Squad, while continuing to develop the Co:Dance education programs.

 

What does 2017 bring for you and the Community Engagement Program?

We will continue to connect with both the primary and secondary education sectors delivering performances, workshops and resource materials. Our Frank Enstein season will have school matinees and resources for teachers and students, as well as Crazy Times, which comes to Perth in October. This one is really special for us as it is a collaboration with Sydney Dance Company and choreographer Antony Hamilton; created for a primary-aged audience, it will be engaging for both adults and young people.

Our Co:Dance school holiday programs will continue with some new opportunities coming in the next school holidays. This April we will be introducing repertoire workshops for ages 13+ to dance alongside the Co3 dancers!

Co:Youth is also going to have a big year, with the Ensemble sitting at around 60 young people. They’ll be choreographing their own work, reimagining existing repertoire and working with LINK Dance Company and Tracksuit.

 

What do you love about engaging young people in the arts?

Young people are our future. They’re our future makers, thinkers, believers, fighters, dreamers. They’re our future teachers, educators, provocateurs, performers, choreographers, audiences, sponsors, writers, consumers, doctors, builders and politicians.

They’re full of belief. They’re curious, courageous and tenacious. They feel all the emotions and they’re willing to share it with us.

I think that by fostering and challenging these young people in the safety of the studio, these qualities strengthen, that they take them with them into adulthood and use them to challenge the way we view the world, to find alternatives and to continue to develop the important role that the arts and culture play on a daily basis.

 

What has been a standout moment with Co3 so far for you?

Overall, it’s a pretty special thing to be able to say that I’ve been a part of the Co3 journey since it’s beginning in 2015. I’m excited by the prospect that as the company grows and matures, I’m being given the opportunity to grow with it, to broaden my skills and continue to develop the many facets that make up my artistic practice.

If I had to pick a specific project, it would be our first regional tour of Paper, Scissors, Rocket! a primary schools show created by Unkempt Dance. Along with fellow dancer Zoe Wozniak and Community Engagement Director Richard Longbottom we toured for three weeks in August 2016 covering over 3000 kms of the South West of WA, performing 24 times and running 57 workshops. We met some pretty incredible humans, saw some beautiful parts of the country, experienced tiny communities with huge hearts and delivered what I think was a pretty fantastic education program to kids and teachers that don’t necessarily get exposure to the performing arts.

 

What do you love most about contemporary dance?

For me dancing is about communicating. It’s about connecting with other people, other bodies, no matter where they come from, what language they speak, what they know or don’t know.

It’s a chance to inhabit other worlds, ones that exist in my imagination, in writing, in sound, in environments.

It’s about bringing ideas to life, to seeing the world from another perspective – from the underneath and the upside down.

It’s breathless and sweaty, embodied. Whole bodied.

It’s measured, concise, understood.

It’s chaotic, wild and out of control.

It’s all of this, all at the same time.

A New Lead for Co3

Co3, Western Australia’s leading contemporary dance company, is pleased to welcome Richard Longbottom to the seat of Executive Director, commencing April 2017.

Richard is currently the Community Engagement Director with the Company and will take over the reins from outgoing Executive Director, Aaron Beach.

On the appointment of Richard Longbottom, Aaron Beach says, “I couldn’t be leaving the position and the company in better hands. Richard’s wealth of experience and passion for industry will ensure continued success for Co3, I look forward to watching the company’s growth over the next few years.”

This appointment strengthens the company’s position in the Perth dance sector with an ongoing commitment to community engagement, education and the development of the company of professional dancers.

Richard Longbottom started his career as a dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and has worked in a number of roles including General Manager, Tasdance; Community and Education Manager, DanceNorth; other roles as a dancer and repetiteur; and since January 2015, Richard has been working as strategy and investment consultant to Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative, supporting young people in alternative education to successfully transition into employment, tertiary training, or back into mainstream schooling.

Of the new role, Richard says: “I have relished the opportunity over the past two years at Co3 to build the Community Engagement Program to a strong and sustainable model that is an anchor for the company. It not only provides training for young dancers but also employment for Co3’s dancers. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead of us as a Company and can’t wait for an amazing 2017!”

Co3 enters its second full year of programming in 2017 since its launch in October 2015. Of the transition in the company, Chair Wendy Wise says: “Co3 is unique in its organisational structure and an internal appointment ensures a continued understanding and commitment to the ethos of the Company. The Board of Directors and I are looking forward to working with Richard into the future.”

Aaron Beach will finish up with Co3 in April 2017, following the Perth premiere of Frank Enstein, the Company’s first collaboration with THE FARM. Aaron will commence the role of Deputy Executive Director of Belvoir in Sydney in April.For all media enquiries, please contact Georgia Malone on 0411 100 340 or Georgia@co3.org.au

About Co3

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Co3 is the state’s flagship contemporary dance company, contributing a unique voice to the national cultural environment.

Co3 reinvigorates the conversation about, and experience of, contemporary dance. The company supports and inspires the development of contemporary dance, dancers and dance culture. Co3 is guided by the key programming principles of curate, commission, and create.

Co3 is currently a resident company at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia.

INTERVIEW: Chrissie Parrott for Reason for Being

This week we have guest artist Chrissie Parrott working with Co3 Artistic Director Raewyn Hill and dancers in development in the concourse of the Art Gallery of WA for our first Reason for Being in 2017.

Chrissie will be working with company dancers Mitch, Russell, Zachary, Talitha, Ella-Rose and Tanya to develop her work ELK.

We spoke to Chrissie about developing new work and being in such a unique and exposed environment.

 

Tell us a bit about your choreographic process.

I approach it with the term ‘landscape of the imagination’, this is the term I use for my creative process and I invite the performers into a holographic situation in the studio where everybody has their own story going on within a very abstract work, which is a non-narrative.

I have, with this process, used some text that we draw upon to create some of those holographic images. I’ve also used a number of paintings from Antipodean artists as imagery; we use those as references for another layer of narrative, but above and beyond all those things I am working particularly on something that is the obverse, or the out-of-scene, or the obscene. For example, when you’re looking at a painting, particularly a narrative painting, there’s always the edge of the painting where there’s a tree going off, or half a house. I like to work on what happens outside of the scene, we talk about that being the other side of the painting or the back story, the outside of the frame.

 

What can the audience expect from you and the dancers?

What we create for an audience is a sense of a narrative, although there’s not a beginning, middle and end to it so it’s a kind of pseudo-narrative. Created as part of the internal logic on stage.

It sounds quite schizophrenic because there are many, many layers and I find by being quite clear with the performers in the beginning that I will be presenting them with these ideas as we go. That literally creates the hologram and the pseudo-narrative around a purely abstract piece of movement.

 

How do you work with the dancers during the development of a piece?

I work very closely with them when exploring ideas. I’m not necessarily the type of choreographer that on one hand says ‘please do this’ and on the other hand leaves them to their own devices too much; I like to work with them hand-in-hand in the process. No matter what style of choreography, there’s always that interpretation and input from the performers but we work really closely together on the final motifs that are then left in the painting.

 

How do you feel about working in the concourse of the Art Gallery of Western Australia? 

I think it’s very exciting. It doesn’t daunt me necessarily because I believe that the type of work we’re doing is very focused on that internal logic, when we’re on the floor we’re very internalised and work closely together, so the fact that people are there is important to see the process. But as far as we’re concerned the audience around won’t distract us, particularly during the rehearsals.

I think it’s important because in a way it’s privileging your audience to your process, rather than just seeing it beautifully packaged at the end which I think is a wonderful opportunity for sharing.

 

Catch Chrissie, Raewyn and the dancers at the Art Gallery of WA from Wednesday 1 – Saturday 4 February, 10am – 4.30pm with the final showing Saturday 3pm – 4pm.

 

Chrissie Parrott is a multi awarded creative artist whose career spans over four decades. Chrissie’s contribution to contemporary dance-associated arts has been significantly acknowledged by the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award, Swan Gold Award Sounds Australia Award, Western Australian Citizen of the Year 2000, Golden Key for high achievers, USA and a Centenary Medal. In 2014 she was awarded a lifetime achievement award though Ausdance WA. In 2015 she was honoured as a State Living Treasure.

Read more about ELK here.

Welcome our new developing artists for 2017

2017 will herald a year of growth for Co3 with the expansion of our stable of dancers. We are delighted to welcome two new City of Perth developing artists from LINK Dance Company, Tanya Brown and Antonio Rinaldi.

Both Tanya and Antonio worked with Raewyn Hill and the Company dancers last year in the creation of ‘the cry’. 2017 will see them grow under the guidance of Raewyn and perform in her new work ‘THE ZONE’ later in the year.

We thought we’d have a chat with Tanya and Antonio to let you get to know a bit more about our newest dancers.

 

How would you describe contemporary dance?

AR: Contemporary dance encompasses (almost) anything and everything in life. It is like the human condition 70% of the time. It is an art form- or as we’re constantly reminded, a lifestyle choice and that is utterly accurate. It is a lifestyle choice- one that is often as ambiguous or avant-garde or literal as it wants to be. It’s much the same as classical, but with different concepts here and there, perhaps a different outcome- maybe less extravagant in set design and costume, but maybe not.

TB: I find this one difficult to explain. To anyone down the street I say, it’s kind of the bare feet dance, that’s free and is a mix of everything, but then is it really that? It can be so many things. It is free. It can take you anywhere you are willing to go. Together, alone. Past, present, future. Memories, stories, histories.

 

What are some of the challenges involved with being a dancer?

AR: I find being malleable a monumental challenge. The ability to conform to and separate from, work with or work autonomously; to be a muse for your choreographer- even to your fellow dancers in the space- there is great responsibility in this. I’ve been stuck with something Raewyn Hill said to us once in the studio – that it was a sacred place and that’s how you must treat it.

TB: I think there is something powerful in being able to overcome all those challenges that come against us daily, in whatever you do. As a dancer we face long hours, which can lead to tiredness and fatigue, making body care crucial. Injury can happen in a blink of an eye sometimes. There can be a lack of resources, not getting paid much and people don’t always support your choice. You might need to work multiple jobs to sustain a living, or go searching travelling to find work. It’s not always accessible to a wide audience, you want to share it with people, but it can be hard to spread around. Competitiveness and ego can threaten the spirit of the dance. It can also sometimes be challenging to be so vulnerable and honest in front of people all the time.

 

How would you describe your time with Co3 so far?

AR: What was most wonderful to me was the ability to be implicated into a re-mounting of a previous work – and see the growth from that point onwards. It was a stunning progression to watch – the dancers were awe-inspiring in their demeanours and their character strengths, though it was a real luxury to watch an artistic director in all her idiosyncrasy because I have such a concentrated keenness for choreographing.

TB: It’s really just beginning! How exciting!

 

What do you love most about contemporary dance?

AR: It depends entirely on the day and the mood I’m in. Some days, I come to the studio- and I have such a real adulation for my fellow dancers – I get all geeked out watching somebody flick an arm or roll around making wild animal noises while assuming the role of an incapacitated entity – (I’m odd that way) or whatever it is they’re doing in the moment. I think I even begin to smile or tilt my head down like I’m possessed; I’ve been called out on it many a time. Other days, when matters don’t run as smoothly, it’s a little more difficult to find that stillness within yourself. Honestly, the chance to just have a groove and get down sometimes is really all the soul food you need- chuck on some old Motown and boogie yourself to culmination.

TB: How it connects people, empowers people, frees people, challenges people and inspires people. How it can be anything from spinning around on the kitchen floor, moving on stage in front of thousands and you could hear a pin drop, to a bunch of all ages moving together as one.

 

Catch both of our new developing artists in Raewyn Hill’s ‘THE ZONE’ later this year. Two-show and single tickets are now on sale for ‘Frank Enstein’ and ‘THE ZONE’ – BOOK NOW!

Co3’s developing artist program is proudly supported by the City of Perth.

2017 – a year of growth and partnership

The first 18 months of Co3 Australia, WA’s flagship contemporary dance company, has delivered opportunities for artists and audiences to further grow contemporary dance in Western Australia. In this short time, the company has engaged over 100 artists and attracted more than 16,000 people to the artistic and engagement programs.

 

Reflecting on Co3 Australia’s first full program in 2016 Artistic Director Raewyn Hill says: “2016 was such a massive year for this little company. I am constantly in awe of the commitment and dedication of the team around me from our small admin team to the Company artists and the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth ensemble members. I’m so proud to be the founding Artistic Director of Co3 and in a year where I presented my first full length work for the Company, and our Youth present their own performance season at the Dolphin Theatre, we are ready to take 2017 head on and continue to offer a full program for dancers and dance lovers of all ages.”

 

2017 will be Co3’s second full artistic program, with a focus on partnerships in creating and presenting new works, we continue to lay the foundations for opportunities to engage with dance in Perth and beyond. Company dancers will be split across a variety of projects and we invite local, national and international artists into the Co3 creative team.

 

As resident company at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Co3 will be presenting two new works in 2017. The Company partners with The Farm Directors Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood on Frank Enstein, a new work that will have its world premiere at the 2017 Bleach* Festival on the Gold Coast, before heading to Perth for a public and schools season. With a cast of Co3 dancers and The Farm collaborators, Frank Enstein is a retelling of the classic tale for children and adults – magical dance-theatre illuminating a path to self-acceptance. This is theatre as if made by Michel Gondry, handcrafted and full of the love of old fashioned techniques.

 

In September, Co3 returns to the Health Ledger Theatre with THE ZONE, an explosive dance work that explores the notion of community forming in extraordinary circumstances. Profound yet playful, the performance chronicles the creation of community told through Hill’s stunning movement language. Artistic Director and choreographer Raewyn Hill will be joined again by music collaborator Eden Mulholland to play the live score, and world renowned Japanese architect Satoshi Okada will join the creative team as set designer.

 

Of the mainstage artistic program, Artistic Director Raewyn Hill says: “In Co3’s second annual program we continue to explore partnerships and welcome some of the best makers and artists from around the world. Following on from an Asialink residency to Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo in mid 2016, I am thrilled to be working with the incomparable architect Satoshi Okada for my next full length work, THE ZONE. As Co3 continues to grow, these collaborations and partnerships allow the company to not only bring some of the world most renowned artists to Perth but gives us flexiblity in our artistic presentations each year”.

 

2017 will see the continuation of Reason for Being, a partnership with the Art Gallery of Western Australia. This residency has been popular with visitors to the gallery this year with more than 5,000 people visiting the gallery view the company in action and engage with the creative process along the way. The first Reason for Being in 2017 will be in February and throughout the year Raewyn will invite several WA artists to join her in the development of work in response to the Sate Collection and the architecture of the building.

 

Co3 is excited to be collaborating with Sydney Dance Company on a new work made especially for Primary-school-aged children. This collaboration with Sydney Dance Company, Crazy Times by the brilliant choreographer Anthony Hamilton and dramaturg Matthew Whittet, will premiere in March at the Sydney Opera House, with a Perth and regional Western Australian season to be announced in early 2017.

 

Also in 2017, Co3 invites the prolific WA artist and dance maker, Chrissie Parrott to the Co3 artistic family to develop her most recent work, Elk. “I am passionate about creating an ongoing opportunity to support WA artists to develop a new work for the company,” says Raewyn Hill. “In 2017 Co3 launches Co: Lab as a way to begin to support choreographic voices of the local independent dance community in Perth. We also welcome the inaugural Co:Lab artist Tyrone Robinson to the Co3 family in early 2017.”

 

This nurturing is again reflected in the strengthening of the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble, the centrepiece of the company’s community engagement program. The Act-Belong- Commit Co:Youth ensemble offers 60 young dancers regular training and development and have three performance outcomes next year including a new co presentation with companies LINK and Tracksuit. In 2016 the Elite Training Squad was introduced and was offered to 20 of the most promising young dancers with a focus on technical development, strength and conditioning.

 

The company’s community engagement program in 2017 with a remounted tour of Paper Scissors Rocket! created by independent WA artists, UnKempt Dance, which will be performed alongside Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s presentation of Saltbush at the State Theatre Centre of WA in July.

 

For full program details, including the full community engagement program, see co3.org.au

 

2017 Program

Frank Enstein

Made by The Farm in collaboration with Co3 Australia

Presented by Co3 Australia, The Farm and Bleach* Festival

Wed 5-Sat 8 April, 7.30pm

Wed 5 April, 1pm (School Matinee)

Thurs 6 & Fri 7, 11am (School Matinees)

Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA Tickets from $25

THE ZONE

Thurs 7–Sat 16 September, 7.30pm

Fri 8, Tues 12, Thurs 14 September, 11am (School Matinees)

Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA Tickets from $40

TWO SHOW PACKAGE: Buy both Frank Enstein and THE ZONE and save! Premium $90 / A Reserve $80 / Concession $55

Single tickets on sale from 16 January All tickets available through Ticketek: ticketek.com.au

For all media enquiries, please contact: Georgia Malone, Marketing & Communications Manager

M 0411 100 340

E georgia@co3.org.au

 

www.facebook.com/Co3Australia

www.instagram.com/Co3Australia

www.twitter.com/Co3Australia