Arts / QL2 Dance ‘on course’ for success

From On course 2016, a work by Oonagh Slater. Photo by Lorna Sim

QL2 Dance has good reason to be pleased with itself, and later in the week it’ll be showing Canberra why.

“On Course 2017: new, short, young, contemporary dance” will showcase new contemporary dance by dance students from universities around Australia, giving a glimpse into the next generation of contemporary dance and physical theatre.

With students from WAAPA, VCA, UNSW and QUT, this project helps to cross-fertilise dancers from the different courses. Canberra dancers returning from full time study interstate get to reconnect with audiences here.

Works will be by Thalia Livingstone, Alexander Abbot, Nasim Patel, Madeleine Towler Lovell, Alexandra Dobson, Patrick Keogh Walker, Jason Pearce, Mara Glass and Gabriel Sinclair. After each performance there will be an optional forum and Q&A with the choreographers and dancers, giving audiences a great opportunity to see where young dance artists are going — and in the forum, to hear from them about their work, and perhaps to influence that direction.

It’s time for self-congratulations too, with news that Quantum Leapers Alison Tong, Caspar Ilschner, Maddy Bowman and Milly Vanzwol have all been accepted in to Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts and Mia Tuco has been accepted into the theatre degree at VCA. Ilschner has also been accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington.

They’ll be joining other QL2 alumni studying or just graduating at tertiary courses. At VCA Dance, Gabe Sinclair and Jason Pearce have just finished first year, Nasim Patel has just completed his second year and Oonagh Slater and Luke Fryer will graduate this year.

At the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts Alex Abbot has just completed second year, and Ryan Stone will graduate from third year and goes on to WAAPA’s graduate program LINK in 2018. At AC Arts (Adelaide College of the Arts), Alana Stenning graduates this year. At the National Institute of Circus Arts  Amanda Lee has just finished her degree after transferring from dance at VCA. And at UNSW in Sydney, Madeleine Towler Lovell has just finished third year of a double major in Dance and Sociology/Anthropology.

Not surprisingly, QL2 artistic director Ruth Osborne says: “Everyone at QL2 is very pleased that our programs not only support creativity at a young age, but also help these young artists get into uni, successfully graduate, and go on to have exciting creative careers in the arts — or elsewhere.”

She also notes that other recent graduates like Eliza Sanders and Jack Riley come back to Canberra regularly to create and perform.

“A great success story for Canberra, and for dance,” she says.

“On Course”, QL2 Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon, 6pm, December 16 and 17. Bookings to

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