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Differently Equal: the universal language of dance

Friday, 11 May 2018

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LINK Dance Company’s first season for 2018 is vibrant proof of the well-known maxim that ‘Dance is a universal language’.

Differently Equal, performed in WAAPA’s Geoff Gibbs Theatre from Wednesday, 23 May to Friday, 25 May at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday, 26 May at 2.00pm, offers an eclectic trio of contemporary works from visiting international choreographers Xiao Xiang Rong (China), Ori Flomin (US), and Adelaide-based dancer/choreographer Tobiah Booth-Remmers.

LINK is WAAPA’s graduate dance company which offers a year-long program for post-graduate and pre-professional dancers to make the transition from student to professional.

In an exciting first for the company, LINK in collaboration with Tracksuit (DADAA) and Co3 Youth was recently nominated for a 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance for Inventories of Bodies in Movement. This groundbreaking collaborative work was directed by French choreographer Christine Fricker and performed at the Fremantle Arts Centre in October 2017. The Australian Dance Award Awards will be announced on 10 August at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Differently Equal gives audiences a brilliant opportunity to see the current crop of LINK dancers in action. The name of the program has been the curatorial springboard for the choreographers, with each creating their work in relation to what they take from the words ‘differently equal’.

Kicking off the program is The Wall, a new work by Chinese choreographer Xiao Xiang Rong which will be performed by students from Beijing Normal University (BNU).

This visit by the 12 Chinese dance students and three of their lecturers is the latest in a series of collaborative undertakings between WAAPA and BNU, initiated in 2012 by WAAPA Head of Dance Nanette Hassall and formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities.

While at WAAPA, the Chinese dancers will also take classes with LINK and WAAPA’s undergraduate dance students.

“I am very excited to welcome again the very fine dancers from BNU and to continue our learning around the differences and similarities in our cultures,” says Michael Whaites, LINK Artistic Director. “I am also looking forward to ongoing discussions around future in-depth collaborations between the two institutions.”

For a taste of contemporary American dance, guest artist Ori Flomin presents the evocatively titled Mangos, earrings and a glimpse of hope.

“We are all born into a similar body and given the same potential, but we grow into a unique and specific being with our own preferences, likes, dislikes and feelings,” says Flomin, who left his native Israel at 22 to carve out a dynamic career in New York City as dancer. Since then, his choreographic and teaching work has taken him to many leading companies, schools and festivals around the world.

“In an era when people struggle to keep up with rapidly changing trends, this work explores how they can maintain their identity and reveal their true selves.”

Rounding out the program is The Wedding by Australian dancer and choreographer Tobiah Booth-Remmers.

The Adelaide-born artist has worked for choreographers associated with Australian Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company and Chunky Move, in particular Larissa McGowan, Lina Limosani and Gabrielle Nankivell.

Most recently, Booth-Remmers has been building his career in Europe through training, teaching and running residencies across Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Sweden and Norway.

“The Wedding is a performance work that draws inspiration from themes of humanity and morality,” he says. “It comments on the easily corruptable nature of our everyday world and the thin veneer that often covers our actions.”

Differently Equal, with its visiting international choreographers and dancers working with LINK Dance Company, is living proof that dance transcends cultural barriers.

For all venue and performance details, please visit the Differently Equal performance web page.

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