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Dance-show-on-a-bus picked up by second Australian arts festival

26 Sep 2012

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .

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Dancers will hurtle down a bus aisle and dangle above audiences as a local dance show is snapped up by a second Australian festival.

Dancers will propel themselves down the aisle of a bus and dangle above Australian audiences this month as a New Zealand dance show is snapped up by a second Australian arts festival.

Wellington dance company, Java Dance Company, has been invited to perform a season of Back of the Bus at The AWESOME International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things in Perth.  In February the work was included in the Adelaide Fringe Festival programme, after sell out seasons at six New Zealand arts festivals.

“Presenting to another Australian festival is a great way for me to better understand audiences, think about how I create work and learn where my work sits in the Australian market,” says artistic director Sacha Copland. “Because the show is so up close and personal it’s an ideal way to gauge the audience’s response.”

With only a bus-load of seats available for each performance of the site-specific choreography, the performance of physical theatre and dance takes place above, beside and below the audience.  “It combines comedy and kinetic energy, both on and off the bus, while revealing the characters’ stories in locations around the city,” says Sacha.

Java Dance Company’s invitation to perform at the AWESOME festival came as a direct result of Sacha’s attendance as a Creative New Zealand supported delegate, to the Australasian Performing Arts Market (APAM) earlier this year and Java Dance Company’s presentation of Back of the Bus at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.  

Each year Creative New Zealand supports delegates representing performing arts companies to showcase their work to international buyers at APAM. “We’re delighted for Java Dance and hope their success will spark the interest of Australian audiences to see even more New Zealand dance,” says Creative New Zealand Senior Manager Arts Policy, Capability and International Cath Cardiff.

Founded in 2003 by graduates of the New Zealand School of Dance, Java Dance Company is a New Zealand-based professional company.  It has recently been commissioned to create a major new work for the Capital E International Arts Festival in 2013.  The company is also in discussions with a third Australian arts festival to present Back of the Bus in an upcoming programme.

Stephen Bain of Winning Productions will also perform in the AWESOME Festival as a result of  another Creative New Zealand  initiative, Te Manu Ka Tau, Flying Friends International Visitors Programme.The programme is designed to introduce New Zealand work to overseas directors and producers to encourage them to show New Zealand work overseas. As a result, Stephen has been invited to present SOUNDIG, a combination of installation, sound art and performance.

The Back of the Bus season runs in Perth from 6-13th October 2012. Other New Zealand acts are also included in the festival including The Trons and Beckett Says.

The AWESOME International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things showcases contemporary art from all over the world. The programme features free and ticketed film, animation, theatre, sculpture, installation, contemporary dance and music.

ENDS