For their latest production, Dance Makers Collective sought advice from their dads on how to make dance. Enter a world of secret solo dance practice and joyful experimentation. As these dancers take their artform for a walk back through their family history they investigate the cultural relevance of dance and its timeless ability to nurture collective experience.
There’s a surfeit of inventive and jaw-dropping moments throughout the work and, to the ensemble’s considerable credit, they each flow seamlessly into one another and operate beyond the level of pure choreography.
Dance Makers Collective have discovered a secret underworld of Dad dancing and for their new show they have asked their Dads to help them create it. The team interviewed their Dads and revealed secret headphone and tambourine routines, African Dance lovers, 1960’s Rock n Roll partner dancing and more. The dads won't be busting their moves on stage in Dads, but audiences will hear the interviews recorded by their sons and daughters, and their musical preferences form the soundtrack to the show. The team have taken inspiration from the shared collective of family history with dance, memories of dance, and what becomes more than just daggy dad dance moves but a beautiful foray into the laymans perspective on art.
"The seeds of this show came from when I asked my dad to come into the dance studio with me one day," Director Miranda Wheen says. Her dad Alan is a retired furniture removalist. "I had an idea that maybe he could choreograph something. But we got totally distracted by his opinions on dance, on how it should or shouldn't happen, and where it should or shouldn't take place." Alan also revealed he was a bit of a dancer himself. "He has wireless headphones at home and he dances in his bedroom with a tambourine. It's hilarious, but at the same time, I didn't know anything about it,"
Dance Makers Collective (DMC) has been making and presenting dance in Western Sydney since 2012, when it first formed. In the same year, they were successful in securing funding from Arts NSW to develop and present their first work, Big Dance in Small Chunks, which was an ambitious dance-for-theatre work that employed ten dancer/choreographers, five composers, 4 live musicians, a visual artist and lighting designer. The work was presented at Riverside Theatres in 2013 to critical and audience acclaim. The work was listed in Dance Australia Magazine's annual awards as "The Most Significant Dance Event of 2013," it was nominated for an Australian Dance Award and exceeded the anticipated audience by more than double.
Since that premiere in 2013, DMC have continued to collaborate on new works, presenting a triple bill of works in 2014, a series of dance films published online called WEBISODES which has so far been viewed by more than 10,000 people, and a new dance-theatre work DADS, funded by Arts NSW, the Australia Council for the Arts and supported by various partner organisations including FORM Dance Projects, Riverside, Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Dance Integrated Australia, Parramatta Artist Studios and Ausdance NSW.
The individual members in DMC have a broad range of experience and expertise as performers, choreographers, producers, designers, educators, collaborators and composers. We have worked with groundbreaking companies and artists such as Shaun Parker and Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Chunky Move, Martin del Amo, Dance North, Branch Nebula, Dean Walsh, Mirramu Dance Company, Restless Dance Theatre, Marrugeku and Stalker Theatre Company.
Director Miranda Wheen
Matt Cornell, Anya Mckee, Sophia Ndaba, Katina Olsen, Marnie Palomares, Melanie Palomares, Carl Sciberras, Miranda Wheen and Rosslyn Wythes
Composer Matt Cornell
Interview Composition Tim Roxburgh
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