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: 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: Zoe Wozniak on Co3’s week at WAIS

Last week we embarked on a new partnership with the West Australian Institute of Sport High Performance Service Centre (WAIS). Under our Artistic Director, Raewyn Hill, Co3 has been able to work with athletes and trainers to implement innovative and varied approaches to training and improving elite performance outcomes.

Alongside regular dance rehearsals, Co3 opened up their daily yoga classes to WAIS as well as movement sessions for athletes. Over the course of the week the dancers observed some of WA’s best athlete’s in training, making use of the extraordinary facilities and expert staff.

Co3 dancer, Zoe Wozniak, gives us an insight into what they got up to at WAIS and how dancers and elite athletes are not so different.

 

Who did you work with at WAIS?

We had a huge week working with different athletes and observing their training.  We had lessons in the pool with the synchronised swimming team and a session with the swimming coach.  We had time in the pool with the diving coach and were able to observe the divers practicing.  We also took the gymnasts through a short ballet class and then they took us through their circuit training.  We were very busy indeed!  There were always athletes working out in the gym near us and the pole-vaulters and javelin throwers would train in the day as well.  It was awesome to be able to watch the athletes train and even more so to get the opportunity to get in the pools or on the floor with them and their trainers!

 

Did many athletes take part in the open yoga classes?

Yes!  Each morning when we started the day with our warm up yoga class, both athletes and WAIS coaches joined us.  It was really nice to have them share that time with us and join in on a practice that is very important to Co3 and the way we work.

 

What was their reaction to having a dance company at the facility?

I think everyone was very interested and curious about what we were doing there.  Our tarkett was set up in the main area of the basketball court so we really had a sense of being immersed in the facility with lots of training happening around us.  From having conversations with the athletes and coaches who took class with us or who we spoke to in the building, they asked lots of questions about who we were and what we were doing, so in this sense it was really exciting to be able to share with them what Co3 is and the reasons for our partnership with WAIS.  They were extremely supportive and we felt very welcome in their space.

 

How do you think dance and sport overlap?

Dance and sport both take commitment, passion, resilience and discipline.  I believe that they both take a lot of time and practice and it’s something in which we find our joy, challenges and incredible rewards.

 

Why is it important for Co3 to go to WAIS and train like athletes?

It was quite an incredible week for all of us and it marked the start of a special partnership and conversation with WAIS.  For myself personally it was amazing and important for Co3 to be in the WAIS environment surrounded by people who train at the highest level, it was really inspiring actually.

It made sense for us to be there and as Co3 has such a strong passion to change the conversation around the dancer who is both an artist and an athlete, so WAIS is the perfect environment to cultivate this relationship.

Both Co3 and WAIS have something to offer and share with each other.  It is not only about the training, but also a huge part of the conversation is about recovery.  WAIS has a recovery centre, which was a major part of our time there at the end of each day, dedicating time to use the recovery pools.  As dancers we do not have these facilities at our fingertips in our studios, so it was such a treat to use these and our bodies felt the benefits.

 

Images by Emma Fishwick.

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.

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

Youth Takes Centre Stage

As 2016 draws to a close, the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble prepare to take the stage with their new contemporary dance performance, Our City, Our Stories. This December, at the Dolphin Theatre, UWA, the ensemble present two new works that they have created over the past nine months, mentored by a number of the Co3 professional dancers and community engagement team.

 

The sixty-member ensemble divided into two casts, and the young creators were given the challenge of creating their own contemporary dance work reflecting aspects of their experience of living in Perth.

 

One of the two works travels from rural WA to the bustling city centre, with innovative choreography contrasting the serenity of the bush with the high-tempo pace of the CBD.

 

The other performance cleverly uses Perth’s train system to move through stations relevant to the young dancers lives (home, school and community) and deftly incorporates light-hearted moments with sincere reflections on life in the city.

 

A senior member of the Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble, Jade, comments “It’s definitely a privilege to be given the chance to take a show and do what we can with it. Everything we do we’ve done ourselves”.

 

Co3 offers Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble for young people aged 7-18 years to extend their creative and technical development in dance. achieved through immersion in choreography, performance skills and improvisation techniques. The Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble program includes weekly Co:Sunday workshops taught by some of WA’s leading teaching artists and national and international guests. Under guidance of Co3’s professional dance artists, Co3 provides opportunities for participants to create and perform their own choreography, learn existing Co3 repertoire, and develop site-specific works.

 

Highlights of the 2016 program include performances in the Perth Cultural Centre for KickstART Festival as part of National Youth Week, self-devised works for Shakespeare Festival, and guest workshops from dancers from Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre.

 

Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble’s Otto K describes his time with the ensemble: “I dance because it’s an enjoyable way to move; I can be creative, active and fit and all the while having fun. And Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth is a place where I can do all of that, as the ensemble has lots of difference aspects to it from the fitness aspect and the creativity and fun side of dancing, too”.

Of the engagement program, Co3 Artistic Director, Raewyn Hill says: “We’re really proud of our Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble; they are a vital part of our company. Every week throughout the year they bring a youthful enthusiasm and a real passion for expressing themselves. Our focus for the program is on using contemporary dance and the performing arts as a foundation to support the holistic growth of young people and challenging them to take positive, creative, risks”.

 

The Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth program continues in 2017 with sixty young dancers taking part. For more information see here: https://co3.org.au/engage/coyouth-ensemble/

 

The Act-Belong-Commit Co:Youth Ensemble, and all of Co3’s education and engagement programs are proudly sponsored by Healthway promoting the health message of Act-Belong-Commit.

 

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

New music accentuates unique and inspiring dance in Co3’s the cry

In her first full length work for Co3 Australia, founding Artistic Director, Raewyn Hill, presents the cry, a work that exemplifies her signature choreographic style and is accompanied by a new score, performed live by composer and musician Eden Mulholland.

 

Presented as part of the MoveMe Festival, the cry is a work that highlights the richness of human existence. The premiere season at Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, features six of the Co3 company members Kathryn Gurr, Mitch Harvey, Zachary Lopez, Talitha Maslin, Andrew Searle and Russell Thorpe.

 

Follow the characters as their energies and relationships ebb and flow throughout the cry, with sensitive duets siting alongside the uncompromising power of the group. Eden’s absorbing rhythms and captivating voice guide the viewer through the authenticity and humanity of Raewyn’s work. Expect the unexpected and be swept away and inspired.

 

Internationally commissioned, Raewyn is renowned for creating intricate and powerful dance, which is underpinned by an emotional intensity and in-depth research. Beyond the physical, there is also a philosophical language for delivery of movement that is exchanged between Raewyn and her dancers. Most recently, Raewyn’s choreography is influenced by time in Japan in 2016, with an incorporation of the seven principles of Bushido: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, honesty, honour, and loyalty.

 

The cry includes the added element of live music for the premiere season and Co3 welcomes Raewyn’s long-time collaborator, Eden Mulholland to Perth to create a new score for the work. Eden has recently returned from a number of international gigs, including working on a new album in Los Angeles and composing for a solo dance performance in New Zealand.

 

For media enquiries, please contact Georgia Malone, Marketing and Communications Manager.

M 0411 100 340

E georgia@co3.org.au

 

www.facebook.com/Co3Australia

www.instagram.com/Co3Australia

www.twitter.com/Co3Australia