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LINK reflects on the meaning of identity

Thursday, 02 November 2017

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Devised specifically for The Edith, WAAPA’s newest performance venue, Im Spiegel (In the Mirror) brings Acting and Performance Movement lecturer and director Sam Chester together with the dancers of LINK and special guest artist, Natalie Allen. Based on the theme of identity, this 45-minute contemporary dance work will bring this magical mirrored palace to life from Thursday, 9 – Saturday, 11 November at ECU, Mount Lawley.

Born in East Fremantle, Natalie Allen is a recipient of a Green Room Award, for ‘Best Female Dancer’ in Sydney Dance Company’s (SDC), 2 One Another in 2013. During her SDC time, she extensively worked with Rafael Bonachela and Guest Artists: Adam Linder, Emanuel Gat, Jacopo Godani, Larrisa McGowan and Alexander Ekman. Highlights were touring nationally and internationally with the company.

Since her departure from SDC, she has immersed herself in the nomad life of an Independent Dancer. Guesting for Leigh Warren and Dancers, Australian Dance Theatre’s National tour of Garry Stewart’s ‘G’, Expressions Dance Company Natalie Weir’s ‘The Red Shoes’, Daniel Jaber’s ‘Nought’ and ‘Shades’, before returning to live in Perth.

“Returning to WAAPA has been welcoming and reassuring that the institute still has excellent staff who are leading talented students. I highly regard and recommend LINK Dance Company to any graduating student as a stepping stone into the industry. How many professional Australian dance companies work with 4-5 choreographers a year? It is rare, and that’s why LINK offers such a fantastic inspiring program of rewarding experiences for emerging dance artists. I feel very humble to be back sharing my knowledge and experience with enthusiastic emerging artists and collaborating with Sam Chester.”

Allen will join the cast of 10 LINK dancers under the direction of Samantha Chester, WAAPA’s resident Performance Movement lecturer and director. Chester, a 2013 Churchill Fellow and the 2015 - 2016 Associate Artist at Critical Path, Choreographic Centre in Sydney, is excited to be working with WAAPA’s pre-professional dance company in ECU’s unique performance venue, The Edith.

“The Spiegeltent already has a rich history so it would remiss not to take that into account when you are making work. Im Spiegal the name of the work by Michael Whaites literally translates in German& ‘mirror reflecting mirror’ so we have taken that into account when we have constructed the choreographic material and movement. The work has been heavily influenced by the circular nature of the tent so it has this sort of old dance hall/gypsy wake feel and the audience will be very up close to the performers which is another exciting plus working in a space like this.”

As for the theme of identity, the LINK dancers needed to dig a little deeper in order to bring their own unique stories to this piece. “We’ve looked at genetics and what we carry from our families in even simple things, like who in your family do you look most like? They’ve interviewed their family about family and made family trees; it’s been beautiful.”

For all venue and performance details, please visit Im Spiegel performance web page.

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