Choreographed by: Jane Smeulders, Scott Ewen, Bernadette Lewis and Kim McCarthy
Performed by: 2nd and 3rd Year Dance students
WAAPA’s talented dancers rise to new artistic heights in neo-classical and contemporary dance works created on them by four outstanding choreographers. Award-winning dancer Jane Smeulders spent 17 years with the West Australian Ballet, the last nine as principal dancer, following four years with the internationally acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater II. WAAPA alumnus Scott Ewen performed with Garry Stewart’s Australian Dance Theatre around the world and has created works for dance companies in Australia, New Zealand and Norway. LINK graduate Bernadette Lewis collaborated with Israeli artists Joel Bray and Oded Ronen on a 2015 Strut Seed residency and last year was Community Engagement Artist for the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and Co3. Kim McCarthy, WAAPA’s Coordinator of Classical Ballet, was a soloist with the Hamburg Ballet Company under John Neumeier and principal dancer with the Compañia Nacional de Danza under Nacho Duato. These four artists bring their brilliant expertise and fierce creativity to WAAPA’s first season of dance.
In Rise, WAAPA’s talented student dancers reach new artistic heights in neo-classical and contemporary dance works created onthem by four outstanding Australian choreographers.
Rise, featuring works by Jayne Smeulders, Scott Ewen, Bernadette Lewis and Kim McCarthy, will be performed by WAAPA’s 2nd and 3rd Year Dance students inWAAPA’s Geoff Gibbs Theatre from Saturday, 6 May through to Friday, 12 May at 7.30pm.
WAAPA is delighted to have award-winning dancer Jayne Smeulders choreographing in the Rise season. Smeulders is a much-loved performer in the local arts scene, having spent 17 years with the WestAustralian Ballet, the last nine as principal dancer. She choreographed WAB’s2011 production of Cinderella and a number of pieces for programs such as BalletUnder the Stars. Having retired last year after an illustrious career as a dancer, Smeulders is now working as a dance teacher and choreographer.
“Mypiece is a rework and extension of a ballet I created for West AustralianBallet many years ago. It is about the competitive nature of the environmentthat we work and train in. The Ballet World. I have used bull fighting as ametaphor for this work as it invokes the struggle of the dancer to perform attheir best, whilst playing with energy, excitement and colour.”
Scott Ewen has beenmaking his mark in the dance world since his final year at WAAPA in 2010 whenhe won the Finley Award in Dance and the Hawaiian Dance Award for mostoutstanding graduate. Since then, he has gone on to dance for many ofAustralia’s most highly acclaimed choreographers, including Garry Stewart,Daniel Jaber, Larissa McGowen, Marine Paolmares and Shaun Parker, among others.He has toured internationally with Australian Dance Theatre and last yearworked with Sweden’s ilDance Company, performing Godlike by Israel Aloni andOdelya Kuperberg throughout Sweden and Israel. As a choreographer, Ewen hascreated works for companies in Australia, New Zealand and Norway.
Ewen’s piece in the Rise season is the evocatively titled Running with Scissors from Lions. Usingas its source material the work of psychologist Sarah Seung-McFarland based on modernculture’s obsession with youth and beauty, the piece will examine issues aroundageing and the lengths people are willing to go to prevent aging from occurring.
“It explores theconcepts of invincibility, beauty, fear and degeneration and reminds us thatage is not all that we are and that beauty is much more than looks,” says Ewen.
WAAPA graduate Bernadette Lewis is using a pastiche of imagery, memoryand cultural references to explore process, transformation and reformation inher work, That which is still hidden isstill unseen.
“We use a sort of choreographic alchemy to apply or strip veiledlayers of meaning to create something completely other to its original,” saysLewis.
After graduatingfrom WAAPA’s honours program, LINK Dance Company, in 2011, Lewis touredregionally with Tasdance, performing in works by Anton, Frances Ringsand Marnie Palomares. Locally, Bernadette has performed in works by Buzz DanceTheatre, Sue Peacock, Aimee Smith, Jo Pollitt, Patrice Smith, Claudia Alessi,Didier Théron and Natalie Allen. In 2014 she was nominated for most outstandingfemale performer at the WA Dance Awards.
The other classically based work in the Rise program is choreographed by Kim McCarthy, WAAPA’s Coordinatorof Classical Ballet. Before joining WAAPA, McCarthy was a soloist with theHamburg Ballet Company under John Neumeier and principal dancer with the CompañiaNacional de Danza under
His new work for the Rise program, Escape Artist, features the music of the same name by the Canadian cellistand composer Zoë Keating. The literary inspiration behind McCarthy’s choreography comesfrom a quote by the 20th century American novelist Thomas Wolfe: “Is this not the true romanticfeeling; not to escape life but to prevent life from escaping you.”
These four choreographers bring their brilliantexpertise and fierce creativity to WAAPA’s first season of dance for 2017.
Geoff Gibbs Theatre
6th May 7:30pm 8th May 7:30pm 9th May 7:30pm 10th May 7:30pm 11th May 7:30pm 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 1st Jan 8:00am 12th May 7:30pm
$27 - Full
$22 - Concession/Friends
4th Apr 12:00am - Friends
11th Apr 12:00am - Public