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Canberra Today 13°/17° | Monday, March 4, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Time to dance ‘everywhere at any time’

Afro fusion duo Parice. Photo: Samara Purnell

Dance reviewer SAMARA PURNELL reports from the launch of Dance Week.

AT International Dance Day at the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre on Friday night (April 29), ACT Arts Minister Tara Cheyne noted that Canberra had the most extensive range of dance events for this year’s subsequent Dance Week celebrations.

The message for Dance Week is “Everywhere at any time, for everyone”.

Dance Day and Dance Week, which follows, are celebrating a 40th anniversary in 2022.

Founded in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute, it was timed on April 29, 1727, the birthday of the creator of modern ballet, Jean-Georges Noverre, but now also marks the anniversary of the death of Russian-American choreographer George Balanchine on April 30, 1983.

Director of Ausdance ACT Cathy Adamek hosted proceedings and read the Dance Day message.

Students of Suzi Piani and Bonnie Neate showing sample from “Unravelled”. Photo: Samara Purnell

This year it came from South Korean ballet dancer Kang Sue-jin, who says: “The COVID-19 catastrophe has stopped life as we so freely knew it and… makes us rethink the meaning of ‘dance’. In the past, dance was a primal means of expression and communication… becoming performance art that moved the soul and inspired the audience.

“It is a momentary art… made of ephemeral moments, which destines dancers to be on the move forever… COVID-19 has restricted and even blocked the art of dance in its original form.

“As dancers, we believe that the flapping of our wings gives hope to the hearts of those who love the art of dance and gives them the courage to overcome this pandemic.”

Several snippets from upcoming performances were presented along with samples of what is available to everyone during Dance Week.

These included an offering from “The Dust Project” by an indigenous intergenerational dance group; a film clip from QL2’s “Unavoidable Casualty”; “Unravelled”, a reworking of the “Romeo and Juliet” theme was introduced by Suzi Piani and Bonnie Neate, who were awarded last year for the creation of their pre-professional dance training group and production, and the Afro fusion troupe Parice.

Workshops and events will be held throughout the week across many locations and include the rare opportunity to learn Chinese dragon dancing, as well as folk dancing, dance for wellbeing classes, workshops and much more, as well as a tea-sampling event. There is something for all ages and experience levels.

The full program is here

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