By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.
As always, there is plenty to do and see in the arts capital of Australia. Here are some of the highlights of the coming summer months.
Summer Schools across Melbourne
Now is the time to book your place at one of the amazing dance summer schools on offer across Melbourne. Two must attend summer programs are by Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance in North Melbourne, and Spectrum Dance in Burwood.
A Spectrum Summer includes classes in hip hop, commercial jazz, lyrical, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre and more, from January 22nd-24th. Several scholarships will be awarded at the end of the program, including a full year scholarship and one half year scholarship for the full time performing arts course at Spectrum Dance. Several A Spectrum Summer scholarships for 2015 will also be up for grabs. For more information visit www.spectrumdance.biz
Dance Slam by Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance is a new, fun and exciting program for 2014. Students will be stretched and challenged as they have a great time enjoying jazz, Broadway, hip hop, commercial, contemporary, vocal and acting. Dance Slam is a unique program that runs daily team based competitions and group activities, taking on a similar format to Glee, running from January 13th-17th. For more information visit www.theministryofdance.com.au
There are also many amazing summer schools running interstate. Check out Dance Informa’s Summer Dance Guide to see the best summer schools on offer across Australia.
Dance Summer School at VCA
Melbourne artist, VCA graduate and 2ndToe Dance Collective member Frankie Snowdon leads this special opportunity for aspiring young dancers and choreographers. The six-day intensive aims to develop practical skills whilst exploring choreography and the creative process. It is open to young, aspiring professional dancers/choreographers aged 15 to 18, who are currently studying and practicing any form of dance at secondary school or as a serious hobby. Daily tutors include VCA Dance graduates who are all current practising dancers and choreographers. The week ends with an informal performance of the group’s dance work. Dance Summer School promises to be a fantastic opportunity for young dancers to creatively contribute to the choreographic process. It runs from January 19th-24th and enrolments close Friday 10 January, unless sold out prior. For more info and to book, go to http://vca-mcm.unimelb.edu.au/shortcourses/dance/
This exciting exhibition has recently opened at the National Gallery of Victoria and runs until March 23rd. Assembling over 250 outstanding commissions, acquired and loaned works and installations, Melbourne Now explores the idea that a city is significantly shaped by the artists who live and work in its midst. Drawing on the talents of more than 400 artists and designers from across a wide variety of art forms, Melbourne Now offers video, sound and light installations, interactive exhibitions, dance works, music and much more. The dance programme, developed by guest curator Antony Hamilton, includes works by Lee Searle and Bridie Lunney, and invites audiences to view the inner workings of companies such as Lucy Guerin Inc and Chunky Move. For more info, head to www.ngv.vic.gov.au/melbournenow.
Angelina Ballerina – The Mousical
Direct from London’s West End, Angelina Ballerina pirouettes onto the stage in a brand new musical adaptation packed full of singing and dancing. The world’s favourite ballerina mouse and her friends think their dreams have come true when Camembert Academy wins the opportunity to appear in their favourite television programme Dancing With Mice. But when the girls and boys have very different ideas for the show and just can’t seem to agree on anything, it’s up to Angelina as Dance Captain to ensure that the show goes ahead. Presented by Arts Centre Melbourne, Angelina Ballerina – The Mousical is a must for young fans of this popular character. The shows run from January 15th -19th. To book tickets, go to www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/event.aspx?id=3806.
Architecture in Motion
Also coming up at Arts Centre Melbourne is Diavolo Dance Theatre’s Architecture in Motion. Direct from Los Angeles USA, this double bill showcases two acrobatic dance works inspired by urban design and cityscapes. Described as “dancing daredevils,” the Diavolo performers leap from movable, propelling set pieces with speed, fearlessness and grace. Set on a 21st century ship, Trajectoire is a metaphor for loss and abandonment, exploring the transcendence of the human soul against all odds. Transit Space is influenced by Californian skateboarding culture and the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, with dancers performing upon moving skateboard ramps. Diavolo Dance Theatre performs from February 5th- 9th. For more info or to book, go to www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/event.aspx?id=3833.
Melbourne’s beloved, multi-award-winning KAGE presents the world premiere of Forklift at Arts Centre Melbourne from February 12th-16th. Lyrical, intimate and dangerous, this breathtaking dance-circus performance work features contortion, aerial acrobatics, striking lighting effects and original music. Re-imagining the possibilities of heavy machinery into a playful and dangerous sphere, this daring work incorporates a 2.5 tonne forklift, examining both the connection and conflicting relationship between humankind and machinery. Forklift was devised in Australia following a development at Helsinki’s CIRKO (Center for New Circus) – a space dedicated to training and the creation of new circus and performance works. To book, head to: www.kage.com.au/book-tickets.
Photo (top): KAGE will present Forklift in February.