Archive for January, 2012


QSS-Resident and Sydney-based performer Linda Luke has a few spots left in her 2012 Workshop series called BUILD YOUR PRACTICE, taking place at Heffron Hall on Tuesday mornings from 24 January — 14 February.

Continuing on from the first series of Build Your Practice in November last year, these classes will further explore BodyWeatherand the relationship between body, environment and performance. Each 3-hour session will develop physical articulation, deepen sensitivity and explore the finer skills required for performance making. The sessions will also provide an energetic workout as a preparation.

KEY INFO:
Heffron Hall
34–40 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Tuesdays 10am — 1pm
24 January – 14 February 2012
Cost: $120
QSS-MEMBER PRICE:  $90 — must book by Wednesday 18 January 2012
For more information, bookings and payment contactlinda.luke@bodyweather.net

Click here to find out more about Linda Luke.

Image courtesy of Leacock Gallery

Leacock Gallery is a new online art gallery supporting emerging artists with an exhibition called Where the Wild Things Are currently on in Studio 12 at FraserStudios — with eight diverse artists tackling the theme of natural history and natural science.

The exhibition features the work of Sarah Martin, Angus Fisher, Justin Scivetti, Sue Grose-Hodge, Kaitlin Ku, Kate Landau, Jeremy Smith and Pia Courtley and is open Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm until Thursday 26 January.

Click here to find out more about the Gallery.

NAVA is currently looking for a Projects Manager!

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) is seeking an experienced person for the position of Projects Manager. The person will be responsible for developing and managing projects that address NAVA identified issues within the visual arts, craft and design sector. Applicants will need to be experienced in researching, preparing and updating NAVA texts and as well as public presentations on NAVA and art industry issues.

Click here to read the position description or for more information contact Emma Thompson, General Manager on (02) 9368 1900 or generalmanager@visualarts.net.au.

Applications close Monday 30 January 2012.

Applications are still open for the 2012 Reginald Season at the Seymour Centre, which will run from July to December 2012.

Last year this inaugural season of independent theatre (and dance, and musicals, and more…), saw the Downstairs Theate re-branded “The Reg” and boasted new work such as Aleksandr and the Robot Maid from QSS-Residents Drop Bear Theatre amongst a vibrant program which included the cabaret Der Gelbe Stern, powerful contemporary theatre production God’s Ear, and tear-jerking back-to-front two-man musical The Last Five Years.

This year the Seymour Centre is once again inviting small and emerging Australian performance companies to pitch projects that fulfil one or more of the following;

  • take large amounts of creative risks
  • cross genre boundaries
  • provoke some big (and small) questions
  • leave audiences gasping for more and…
  • extend the practice of the team involved.

For more information and to download the application form click here to visit the Reginald website.

Applications are due 3 February 2012.

This week we caught up with one of our favourite QSS-Residents Martin del Amo to talk about Anatomy of an Afternoon, on until Monday 16 January at the Sydney Opera House for the Sydney Festival.

Tell us about Anatomy of an Afternoon. How did you come to work with solo dancer Paul White? 

Anatomy of an Afternoon takes its inspiration from Vaslav Nijinsky’s The Afternoon of a Faun. This seminal dance piece was highly controversial when it first premiered in 1912, partly because of its overtly sexual nature for its time but also because it so radically rejected any classical formalism associated with the ballet tradition. While using the Nijinsky original as a conceptual springboard, Anatomy of an Afternoon at the same time marks somewhat of a departure as it shifts the focus away from the faun character and seeks to physically capture the elusive nature of the afternoon.

Paul and I had known each other socially for a few years and I’ve always been an admirer of his work. Paul is primarily known for his incredible dancing skills and charismatic performance style but he is also a much sought after artistic collaborator, having forged ongoing creative partnerships with several choreographers. He is fearless when it comes to choreographic research and always up for challenging himself artistically. I felt he was the ideal collaborator for this project and I asked him if he was interested in coming onboard. Luckily he said yes …

What’s it like to have a show in the Sydney Festival? Have you been involved in Festival productions before?

I feel it’s really special to be able to premiere Anatomy of an Afternoon at the Sydney Festival. In the last few years, the Festival rarely programmed productions by independent local artists. As someone living and working in Sydney, I’ve always thought that was a great shame. That’s different with this year’s festival, where a number of new works by local artists is represented. And I’m very excited to be part of that mix.

The only other Festival event I have been involved in was the 2009 First Night where I performed with The Fondue Set as part of a massive dance routine on a scaffold structure at Martin Place. I was a dance captain — the only time I’ve ever been a dance captain.

How did you begin your career as a dancer and now choreographer? Do you prefer one role over the other, or are they intertwined?

I’m originally from Germany and I started dancing over there. One of the choreographers I worked with in the mid-Nineties was Sydney-based choreographer Tess de Quincey. I first came to Sydney in 1996, initially with the sole purpose of continuing my work with Tess. I soon after started making my own work and eventually based myself here in 2002.

For many years I mainly worked as a solo artist, creating dance pieces that I would both choreograph and perform. In recent years, I have shifted my practice to increasingly working with other performers both in group and solo contexts. As much as I enjoy blending the roles of choreographer and dancer in my solo work, I am also very happy when I get to concentrate purely on the role of choreographer and director. I love working with other performers and find it exciting to draw on their input when creating a work.

What inspires you? 

It’s often the tension between two things that seem contradictory at first glance. In the case of Anatomy of an Afternoon, I was interested in trying out something I had never done before. I had never used an existing piece as inspiration for a new creation. I had never worked with a dancer of Paul’s calibre. And I had never assembled an artistic team that only included collaborators with whom I never worked with before. At the same time, I wanted to consolidate the choreographic language I have been developing for many years and further explore conceptual ideas I’ve been playing with for a while. This mix between the intimately familiar and the completely unknown has been a never-ceasing source of inspiration for me while working on Anatomy of an Afternoon.

Where else can we see you / your work during 2012? 

There are several projects I will be working on in 2012, they are all at different stages of development. One is a piece called Just Add Water designed as a solo for dance artist Anton. Another is a full-length duet with dancer/choreographer Julie-Anne LongThe Night Is Young And We Are Not (Julie-Anne & Martin had a residency at QSS in 2011 to begin development on the piece). I will also continue developing pieces for my ongoing choreographic project, Slow Dances For Fast Times. Once completed, it will consist of 12 short solos performed by a diverse range of dancers from distinctive cultural and artistic backgrounds, of different ages and from different States.

So yes, it looks as if 2012 is going to be more of a ‘development year’ than a ‘presentation year’. Apart from Anatomy of an Afternoon of course …

Click here if you would like more information about Anatomy of an Afternoon.

We interviewed Michelle Kotevski, the Executive Producer of Urban Theatre Projects and Queen Street Studio’s previous chairperson, about Buried City, a co-production with Sydney Festival and Belvoir which is showing now at Belvoir’s Upstairs Theatre. 

You’ve been the Executive Producer of Urban Theatre Projects two and a half years now. What’s the most rewarding / exciting / frustrating (maybe don’t answer that!) thing about working for the company? 

The breadth of the work we do is by far what makes my working life exciting. I love the layers and complexity — for instance,  you’re on the ground researching a new major site based work in London looking at what it means to be working poor, whilst sending emails about a new show made by two really young artists from Western Sydney — a cooking show no less, planning a workshop program with another artist for a football work and then picking images for another festival new work. But, if I had to summarise, the most exciting and rewarding aspect of the work for UTP is the cultivation of an environment and a network for younger artists, particularly those who live in the West and have non dominant cultural backgrounds…

Tell us about Buried City — UTP’s fourth Sydney Festival production in as many years. What can audiences expect?

I think people can expect Alicia Talbot’s trademark grit and authenticity and to walk away with images that keep coming to mind for weeks after. It’s beautiful… and that might not be what some audiences will be expecting when they find themselves sitting in a ‘building site’… but it is beautiful, from the set to the script to the performance. I think we have an amazing and very charismatic cast — I think audiences will fall in love with them… I have been all through rehearsal!

UTP has become well known for staging performances in backyards and other unexpected spaces but Buried City is coming to the Upstairs Theatre at Belvoir St… does this create a different sort of pressure for the company? Has the show come together differently because of its more traditional theatre setting as opposed to a typically urban setting? 

Definitely, its changed a lot for the company and especially for Alicia as a director in how we’ve approached this work. Essentially though, we’ve treated upstairs Belvoir as a site… and strangely, sites are so much easier in one way than an existing building. I was watching the dress rehearsal last night with a friend of mine, and she was blown away by how much she felt like we were in a site. The stories and references within the show about the immediate area of Surry Hills, Redfern, Waterloo made it feel really site specific for her. So I suppose, like all our works, it’s certainly of a place.

Buried City takes place in a “gutted building primed for development”. As the previous chair of Queen Street Studio you’re obviously familiar with empty spaces that are waiting for re-development — what do you think it is about buildings or warehouses in such a state of flux and transition that can be inspirational to artists? 

Ha! Well Sam Chester knows that very well… for a long time she (and the rest of us) were inspired by that quote from someone about the potential of space… I suppose change, flux and transitions are really at the core of many artists’ work, or at least their inspiration. I think real estate is ALWAYS inspiring in a place like Sydney where change to the use and nature of buildings is really like a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for what is happening socially, economically and politically in any given locale. One of the basic premises of Buried City is that the people who build the city don’t get to live in it. 

What’s the most exciting thing about being part of the Sydney Festival? 

Ahhh, audiences. It’s the audiences the festival brings to our shows and the company that are the most exciting thing. The festival also brings so many friends and colleagues into town — so it’s such a great time to catch up with people, preferably in the Speigeltent garden!

And lastly, what else should we be keeping an eye out for from UTP in 2012? 

Ohhh– LOTS… I can’t even begin to tell you…

TICKET GIVEAWAY!

We have one double pass to giveaway to Buried City on Saturday 14 January at 2pm, in the Upstairs Theatre at Belvoir. Email marketing@queenstreetstudio.com if you’d like to get your hands on the tickets (only the winner will be notified). Click here if you would like more information on Urban Theatre Projects.

Click here to head to the Sydney Festival website and find out more about the show.

Long-time QSS-Member and Performing Arts Resident Martin del Amo’s new show Anatomy of an Afternoon is premiering at the Sydney Opera House this Monday 9 January 2012 as part of this year’s Sydney Festival.

A highly original re-imagining of Vaslav Nijinsky’s legendary ballet L’Apres-midi d’un Faune (The Afternoon of a Faun), whose original Ballet Ruse production premiered exactly a century ago, this stripped back production translates this modernist masterpiece into the 21st century starring the award-winning dancer Paul White and an original score composed by the renowned Mark Bradshaw.

Originally from Berlin, Martin del Amo is a highly acclaimed Sydney-based dance artist and choreographer whose last five solo works It’s a jungle out there (2009), Never been this far away from home (2008), Can’t Hardly Breathe (2006), Under Attack (2005) and Unsealed (2004) have been presented in Australia by organisations such as Performance Space, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Dancehouse and PICA and have toured around the world.

The world premiere of del Amo’s new production Anatomy of an Afternoon is highly anticipated and is expected to be a both visceral and poetic performance navigating an imaginary landscape full of hidden dangers and secret pleasures.

We’ll post an interview with the artist on our blog next week, but in the mean time we have two double passes up for grabs for the show’s opening night this Monday 9 January at 8pm. Email marketing@queenstreetstudio.com and the two double pass winners will be notified this afternoon.

Click here to head to the Sydney Festival site for more information.

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