While the start of December heralds a slow wind-down for many people eagerly awaiting the end of year, the team at Dancenorth has been busy remounting three works to feed the continuing demand for their performances. A demand that is so great, a second cast has been formed in order to satiate it.
Dancenorth will present Attractor at the December Dance Festival in Bruges, Belgium this Friday (7 December) as part of this year’s program celebrating the contemporary dance landscape in Australia and New Zealand, before taking Dust and One Infinity – the latter to be staged by the second cast – to the Sydney Festival for five performances each in January.
Associate Artistic Director Amber Haines said that while the schedule was taxing for all involved, it was well worth it.
“They’re both extremely prestigious festivals. It’s quite exciting,” said Amber.
December Dance Festival and Sydney Festival follow the world premieres of two new works in 2018: Dust, which was created by Amber and Dancenorth’s Artistic Director Kyle Page and premiered at Brisbane Festival, and One Infinity by noted choreographer Gideon Obarzanek, which premiered at Melbourne Festival.
“I haven’t heard of another Australian dance company presenting and premiering in such prolific Festivals in one year. It’s kind of unheard of. We’re very fortunate.”
Amber said there’s a lot of overlapping behind the scenes to coordinate so much national and international touring, and to maintain the high quality of work Dancenorth is known for.
“There’s a lot of stretching of skills. No one in this company – dancers, admin, production team included – just sticks to their adhered job. We’re actually skill sharing and doubling up all the time in order to make this happen. The size of our organisation is much smaller than our output.
“The dancers are keeping several works on the boil whilst on tour, so it’s an epic ask of their bodies and brains, not to mention the production and management aspect of that behind the scenes. To get a tour up, you are planning and producing elements that are in play at least six-to-12 months.
“We have a lot more international touring on the horizon as well, so whilst this is about to take off and go overseas there’s actually more in the pipeline. As soon as we finish Sydney Festival we literally get on a plane the next day and fly to the US to perform Attractor in Stanford, and then we go to Canada to perform in Vancouver.
Dancenorth’s 2019 schedule already includes presenting works in Mexico, Perth, Woolongong, Tasmania, Melbourne, Gold Coast, New York, Maryland (USA), and Holland. However, they’ve not forgotten their home-base of Townsville in their planning.
“I don’t know what I’m allowed to say yet, but there’s definitely a premiere of a new work that [Townsville] will be able to see. Actually three! There’ll be three works on the horizon for next year, which are brand new!!” Amber said.
“We were so happy with the open showing of Dust that we did – a kind of Q&A-esque type rehearsal – so we’re definitely going to implement more of these when we’re taking things on the road. I think it’s really amazing for the Townsville community to kind of get in on that at base level and actually have conversations with the dancers and choreographers to get a sense of ownership of the work as well.”
For more information about Dancenorth’s upcoming events and performances, visit dancenorth.com.au