Dancenorth’s a Global Force

Local professional dance company Dancenorth is set for their biggest year yet in 2018, after it was announced their Artistic Director Kyle Page would be a Segment Director for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. IMAGE: Members of the Dancenorth ensemble by Amber Haines

It’s been an incredible year for Dancenorth.

Not only has the company secured a number of awards and grants in the past 12 months, but the recognition they are receiving locally is growing exponentially – recognition that is set to skyrocket in 2018, with the company’s Artistic Director Kyle Page and Associate Artistic Director Amber Haines announced as key artistic personnel working on the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

Kyle and Amber will join world-class talent from across Australia including Wesley Enoch (Sydney Festival) and Stephen Page (Bangarra Dance Company) to collaborate on the Commonwealth Games programme under the Direction of Nathan Wright (Director of Mass Choreography, Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony).

Ceremonies Artistic Director and Project Director David Zolkwer said the Commonwealth Games would not only be a showcase of athletic prowess, but a celebration of Australia’s best performers.

“The extended creative team is made up of great creatives from different places and backgrounds. At its heart are many local and home-grown talents. It’s a real privilege for me to be working alongside practitioners who are so respected not only here in Australia, but also across the world,” David said.

Dancenorth will perform for more eyes than ever before in 2018, with up to 1.5 billion people around the world predicted to tune in and watch the Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Dancenorth is no stranger to a swelling audience, particularly at home in Townsville: after the show sold out in 2016, they brought Rainbow Vomit back for a second sell-out season locally. But it was the magic of Tectonic and the grooviness of Dance Tropics Dance that won the company new followers. Tectonic, staged in the sand during Strand Ephemera, made the company more accessible than ever before. With 180 fit balls half-buried on the Strand for an entire month, Dancenorth was the topic of conversation for beach-goers even before performances began. Dance Tropics Dance built on the momentum created by Tectonic, combining fanbases with the 1 RAR Band and generating further appeal with an open invitation to daggy dancers and colourful costume-lovers alike.

More recently (and mere days after the Commonwealth Games announcement), Townsville was treated to a preview of Dancenorth’s next work-in-progress, Dust, which has been co-commissioned by six festivals and venues in four states across the country. The performance is being created in collaboration with Tasmanian designers Liminal Studio and Canadian violinist Jessica Moss. As it’s still in development, without the final soundtrack or set to interact with, all focus was on the pure skill of the dancers and the concepts presented by Kyle and Amber. The concentration, dedication, precision and athleticism of the dancers was incredible, and had the audience mesmerised from start to finish.

Dust will form just part of Dancenorth’s tightly-packed 2018 calendar: with the Commonwealth Games, further performances of Attractor and another new work set to be created in collaboration with guest choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell filling the diary, North Queensland’s own contemporary dance company is proving to be a global player.

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