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‘Vortex’ creates an irresistible force of dance

Monday, 18 April 2016


Vortex draws into its powerful current five outstanding choreographers who have created new classical and contemporary dance works on the WAAPA 2nd and 3rd Year Dance students.

Over six nights, dance lovers can enjoy a stunning program of new works by Gareth Belling, Paulina Quinteros, James O’Hara, Balázs Busa and Justin Rutzou. Vortex will be performed in WAAPA’s Geoff Gibbs Theatre from Saturday, 30 April to Friday, 6 May at 7.30pm.

Gareth Belling, a former Queensland Ballet dancer, has choreographed works for Queensland Ballet, Collusion Music, Expressions Dance Company, Queensland University of Technology and Ochre Contemporary Dance Company. In 2015 Belling was a choreographic collaborator and performer in Paratrooper Project for Fresh Ground Residents Phluxus2 Dance Collective. Last year he also premiered his new chamber ballet Desirelines, a multi-media dance and music work with Collusion and animator Pete Foley, which has been nominated for five Australian Dance Awards.

For WAAPA’s first season of dance for 2015, Belling is working with 11 of WAAPA’s classical dance students to create a modern ballet created around the concept of ‘connections’. The dancers will perform en pointe with metre-long, blue LED light tubes, creating a visually stunning evocation of the work’s theme.

Award-winning WAAPA alumnus Paulina Quinteros has enjoyed a long and varied career as a dancer and choreographer. She was a company member of Paul Mercurio’s Australian Choreographic Ensemble (ACE), and has created works for numerous Australian dance companies and festivals including, most recently, two new works for Queensland Ballet. She has also worked with Joanne Endicott (Tanztheatre of Wuppertal) and Celestine Hennermann (Dramaturge Ballett Frankfurt/Das T).

Her piece for the Vortex season, which is set to the hauntingly beautiful music of Erik Satie, combines contemporary and classical dance with circus skills into a series of magical, dream-like dance vignettes.

“The work is a beautiful display of the students’ technique,” says Quinteros. “It really shows the students’ artistry, their dance skills and their acrobatic abilities. They are beautiful performers.”

The third piece in the Vortex program is a contemporary dance work being co-choreographed by James O’Hara and Balázs Busa on 23 dance students.

O’Hara, who hails from Fremantle, and Busa, who is Hungarian, both work internationally as dancers, teachers and choreographers.

As a dancer, O’Hara has performed with some of the world’s leading dance companies including Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, The Australian Ballet, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Norwegian National Ballet, The Bolshoi Theatre Moscow and at Sadler’s Wells in London.

Since 2006 O’Hara has worked extensively in Belgium as a collaborator and performer with the award-winning choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In 2015 O’Hara was choreographic assistant to Marina Mascarell for Mongrel (Gothenburg Opera), Yang Liping for Under Siege(Kunming, China), and most recently assisted Michael Keagan Dolan on his creation In-Nocentes for the UK’s National Youth Dance Company.

O’Hara and Busa describe creating the new WAAPA dance work as an organic process that is a collaboration between themselves and the students.

“We are interested in intuition, in what happens naturally, how the honest reactions of the students and the energy they create feed into the work,” says O’Hara. “It’s a collaboration between the students and us, it’s as much their work as ours.”

The final choreographer on the Vortex program is WAAPA Dance Lecturer, Justin Rutzou. Rutzou has danced in some of the country’s most prestigious companies including Expressions, Sydney Dance Company and Queensland Ballet.

Rutzou intriguingly describes his new contemporary dance piece as: “An elephant, some showgirls and an array of headlining acts from around the globe, and someone is determined to kill them all!"

With such a wonderfully diverse array of works on offer, Vortex promises to be an exciting and enticing first season for WAAPA’s 2016 dance program.

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


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