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.
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