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.

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.