By Deborah Searle.
Flare Dance Company is a non-profit dance company based in Hawthorn, Victoria. FDC was established in 2007 with the aim of providing a platform for adult non-professional dancers and choreographers to create, perform and explore various forms of dance. “FDC enables adult dancers to continue to pursue their passion for dance while juggling their everyday commitments of other careers and their personal lives”, says founding Artistic Director and President Jane Khoo.
Dance Informa spoke with Jane about Flare Dance Company.
What makes Flare Dance Company unique?
Dance has been a significant part of my life since childhood. During my university years, I founded the Flare Dance Ensemble of Melbourne University and was actively involved for more than six years, predominantly as its Founding Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer.
I believe that adults for whom dance has been a part of their lives should be able to continue to pursue this interest even if they do not become professional dancers and need to juggle careers and active personal lives. I believe dance is a fantastic form of exercise and keeps one mentally active (just think about how quickly dancers need to learn and remember a routine!) and should be encouraged throughout our life.
Tell us about your performances.
Within FDC’s short three year history, we have staged two productions; In Essence and Metamorphosis, each featuring a mixed bill of 14 original short works in styles including contemporary, jazz, ballet and ethnic.
Each production has brought different challenges. For our inaugural production, we were completely unknown within the community. This made recruitment of dancers, sourcing funding and promotion of our event particularly difficult. However, we worked quickly and hard to build relationships within our local community and were delighted with the final quality of our dance items and our audience turnout. In line with our philanthropic nature, we also give back to the community through charitable donations from our ticket revenue.
For our second production we performed to live music. Members of a community based orchestra performed Barber’s Adagio for Strings to a contemporary piece entitled ‘Rise’ which was inspired by the resilience of people who are experiencing grief and loss.
As well as this we have performed at a variety of community cultural events and street festivals throughout the year.
In October 2010, we will hold our third annual production. Rehearsals will commence around April. We will also have three upcoming performances for Boroondara Council festivals.
You are currently recruiting dancers. What do you look for in a dancer?
We welcome all levels of dancers including beginners. However, as we seek to ensure a certain quality for our performances, we are keen to recruit dancers with at least an intermediate level of experience in our predominant styles of jazz and contemporary.
FDC embraces a variety of dance styles, so we look especially for versatile dancers who are willing to explore different genres. Other key attributes of our dancers are commitment and hard work. Even though we are a non-professional company, a huge amount of time and effort is invested by all parties, and a key to our success so far is dedicated dancers who attend practices and give it their all.
All dancers are welcome to participate in our rehearsals and activities. However, dancers are casted into production items based on merit and active participation. Beginners who do not feel confident in performing yet are encouraged to take on other volunteer roles such as stage crew, so that they can still contribute to the production.
How can the dance community support Flare Dance Company?
We welcome support of all kinds! Please spread the word about our company, attend our upcoming production in October, put us in contact with interested dancers, crew and volunteers, and join our emailing list.
Visit www.flaredancecompany.com for more information.