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

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.