Movement in the Tropics

Thursday night's tech run of Dancenorth and 1RAR Band's 'Dance Tropics Dance', taking over Jezzine Barracks this Saturday.

Dancenorth will take their performances out of the confines of theatre space and onto the grassy expanse of Jezzine Barracks this Saturday for their inaugural Dance Tropics Dance.

The event is a collaboration between Dancenorth, the Band of the First Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR Band) and Otto’s Fresh Food Market, to bring a unique dance, music and food experience to Townsville.

Dancenorth Community and Outreach Coordinator, Jessica Devereux, said the event began as a conversation between Dancenorth and the 1RAR Band, and had snowballed over time.

“For this project, we spoke about what it would look like if we had dance performances with live music as a small, intimate event early in the year – but the more we talked about it, the clearer it became that it could involve a larger community of participants that come to Dancenorth for class. So it just kept growing and became a musical conversation – we looked at the set lists the 1RAR Band had in their repertoire, and also looked at commissioning some other songs,” Jessica said.

“The community enrichment program that Susie [van den Ham] and I run has included working with PCYCs and local high schools, who have all learnt a flashmob that will happen on the night. They have been invited to be a part of it less officially – so they can attend as audience members but then pop up in that moment. Really it’s the adult open class program being profiled on-stage with the 1RAR Band.

“We’re funded by the Townsville City Council to do this every year for three years and we’re excited about developing it, so this is just the small first version.”

Dancenorth Community and Outreach Manager, Susan van den Ham, said the event was a first for the company.

“Allowing Dancenorth – and our ensemble in particular – to have the opportunity of exchange with the 1RAR Band and bring a collaboration together to utilise both our skills,” Susan said.

“It’s great that the actual ensemble can be a part of this, as well as our community outreach, and bringing both parts together with the 1RAR Band. There’s about 70 performers involved in total. That’s the exciting thing about this show: it’s the first time our dancers have performed with a live band.”

Officer Commanding and Music Director of the 1RAR Band, Major Glenn Rogers, said the collaboration with Dancenorth was just part of the band’s community engagement initiatives.

“The relationship between Dancenorth and the 1RAR Band has existed for quite some time – primarily by us coming in and performing at Dancenorth, and putting the proceeds towards projects Dancenorth are a part of and towards charities of our choosing too. But Dance Tropics Dance brings that community aspect even further, especially by bringing it outdoors and involving more community groups,” Major Rogers said.

Experience the fun of Dance Tropics Dance at the Jezzine Barracks Parade Grounds this Saturday from 5-9pm. There will be an area to learn the flashmob dance as well as a glitter tent, where you can be covered in sparkle for free. Click here for more information and tickets.




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