Tasmanian Regional Arts (TRA) is proud to present The Dance Project in partnership with Mature Artists Dance Experience (MADE), Bust a Move and Tasdance. The Dance Project will develop and present three new contemporary and relevant dance works with, by and about community. Evolving from the heart of each community, these works will explore the sense of place, kinship and identity for the residents of the three regions.
Angie Abdilla, Creative Producer of the project says: "The Dance Project offers a platform for three divergent Tasmanian dance companies to create innovative dance works - discrete and interconnected - from the heart of regional Tasmanians".
The Dance Project is an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts, aiming to develop a new model for connections between dance and communities and to allow more opportunities for Australians to both see and participate in dance across the country. It's jointly funded by the Australia Council's Dance Board and the Community Partnerships Committee. Over the duration of the project through 2011 to mid 2012, the project partners engaged with communities from their regions ranging from Hospice workers in the South (Hobart) to local dance communities in the North West (Devonport, Burnie and Ulverstone) and primary school students in the North East (Winnaleah, Ringarooma, Scottsdale and Bridport). The Dance Project offered a framework that acted as an open-ended stimulus to explore specific topics and issues that emerged as critical for the diverse communities. Participants selected from an eclectic mix of media to form a performance mosaic (image, music, movement, text) they felt would best represent their ideas and responses.
Family is the southern component of The Dance Project, a statewide initiative of the Australia Council. Mature Artists Dance Experience, (MADE) Tasmania's innovative contemporary dance theatre ensemble of mature adults is working in collaboration with Hobart's Hospice Volunteers to create a two part dance and sound installation encapsulating the primary message that death is an essential element of life - and a community in fear and denial of death is a community in fear and denial of life". (Hospice Volunteers).
In 2010 MADE was approached by Hospice Care Association of Southern Tasmania Inc who had identified MADE and its performance methods as the means for establishing a dialogue with the broader community about the subject of death, predominately feared and treated as taboo. FAMILY project patron Professor Ashby (Director of Palliative Care, Royal Hobart Hospital and Ethicist) and the Hospice Volunteer's believe it is the ignorance and fear of dying that is preventing many people from having a ‘good' death. Similarly,MADE strongly advocates the valuable contribution mature members of our community make to our cultural identity - through dance and movement; forming a collaboration that is surprising, obvious and integrally connected.
It is through this unique collaboration that artistic interrogations are transposing the powerful discourse evolving from the two groups combined into phrasal encounters that are both visceral and unchartered.The Dance Project, a community arts initiative is focused on the critical investigation of the work through its year-long intensive workshops aimed at facilitating participatory experiences and new meanings within the form of dance. The introspection of the movement being created is further charged by the diverse ensemble of mostly woman ranging in ages from 40 year of age to 80 years of age. Yet, it is the intent of the movement resonated through the connection of the Hospice Volunteers and their intimate association with dying and death that reverberates long after visiting the work in creative development.
FAMILY is a bold, innovative project that is stimulating critical discourse about dying and connecting with death - through this exquisite participatory performance work - in life.
To know more about the project log onto www.thedanceproject.com.au